Christopher Meloni Is Back As Elliot Stabler In SVU's Season 22 Premiere

Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni
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Good news, SVU fans! Christopher Meloni’s highly anticipated return now has a date

After nearly a decade, one-half of one of TV’s most iconic crime duos will be reunited once more when veteran Law & Order: SVU star Christopher Meloni returns to the long-running series. For weeks now, news that Meloni would be reprising his role as Det. Elliot Stabler has been piquing interest. And now, fans no longer have to wonder when — Mariska Hargitay’s Det. Olivia Benson will finally share the screen with her former partner again in the first episode of the new season.

We have showrunner Warren Leight to thank for revealing this juicy morsel of SVU intel. During a special writers’ roundtable for the series’ podcast, he spilled the date of Stabler’s oh-so-overdue return. “It’s pretty clear that Elliot will be in the SVU season opener. I think that much I know,” Leight shared.

Adding to the excitement? We’ll be seeing a lot more of Det. Stabler in the near future. His cameo will serve as a teaser for his very own spinoff. Per Deadline, the still-untitled show centers on Stabler as he heads up an NYPD organized crime unit. It’s already been given a 13-episode order and, let’s be real, the fan response should all but guarantee a second season.

Plus, since the spinoff is set in NYC, we get the added benefit of countless potential Benson-Stabler crossovers. If ever there was proof that good things come to those who wait, this is it, friends.

On that note, we’d be remiss not to mention that you may be doing more of that: waiting. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, production on NBC sets has halted. So, at this point, there no way to know when Season 22 — and it’s Stabler-cameo-including premiere — will be filmed.


But hey, we’ve waited this long, right? What’s a few more months? Especially when the payoff is seeing Meloni and Hargitay together again. The two were original cast members when SVU premiered way back in 1999. Sadly, their time together ended in 2011 when Stabler was written out of the show after the season 12 finale.

Of course, fans will remember that the storyline back then was that he retired after a case involving a young girl that hit him particularly hard. It’ll be interesting to see how they address that when Stabler makes his glorious return to SVU in the (fingers crossed?) fall.