Right off the top of my head, it’s hard to think of a scripted TV show franchise that has been quite as successful as Law & Order – which is now almost 30 years old!
The original Law & Order series first aired in September 1990 and lasted a whopping 20 seasons, a feat beaten only by the show’s first spin-off – Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – that premiered its 22nd season in 2020 and has recently been renewed through to a 24th season.
With almost 1,200 episodes aired over various spin-offs, you’d think that the shows’ writers and creators would have run out of creativity at this point. However, it seems to be just the opposite (which, in retrospect, is a jarring reflection of how much crime happens in society, since Law & Order is known to base their episodes on real-life cases).
The spin-offs tend to branch out into specific focuses for the new shows and the newest series to join the franchise is centered on organized crime.
Who’s in charge?
In March 2020, NBC announced the greenlight for 13 episodes of a new spin-off. It was yet unclear what it would be titled but come early June, it was confirmed to be Law & Order: Organized Crime. The series is set to premiere sometime in 2021.
As for the minds behind the show, well, it wouldn’t be Law & Order without Dick Wolf as a creator and executive producer, right? While it’s still unclear who his fellow producers and showrunners will be on this new show, we know who definitely won’t be on the team: writer Craig Gore.
According to Variety, early in June, Wolf himself spoke up about terminating Gore from the show due to his controversial social media posts in reference to the Los Angeles protests happening during that time in response to the killing of George Floyd.
Who are we going to see on Law & Order: Organized Crime?
So far, there’s one major casting announcement that has gotten longtime fans extra excited.
Christopher Meloni (Underground, Happy!) is reprising his role as Elliot Stabler after leaving SVU in 2011!
After nine years and his character’s sudden departure from the show, Stabler is back in the NYPD as the head of a new task force assigned to take down New York’s biggest criminal syndicates.
Apart from Meloni, Tamara Taylor, Danielle Moné Truitt, Dylan McDermott, and Ainsley Seiger have been also cast. Taylor will be playing Angela Wheatley, a match professor at Hudson University. Moné Truitt will be portraying the organized crime unit’s leader Sergeant Ayanna Bell. While McDermott will star as Richard Wheatley, a businessman with mafia ties. And Seiger will play Jet Sloomaekers, a former hacker who’s recruited for the OCCB task force.
Additionally, since NBC’s released synopsis told us that we will be seeing some of Stabler’s family members on the series (at least in the pilot episode), Isabel Gillies, Jeffrey Scaperotta, and Allison Siko will appear as Stabler’s wife Kathy, son Dickie and daughter Kathleen respectively.
And most recently the cast has been updated with Ben Chase, Nick Creegan as Wheatley’ oldest son Richard “Richie” Wheatley, Jr., Jaylin Fletcher, Charlotte Sullivan, Michael Rivera as Detective Diego Morales, Ibrahim Renno as Izak Bekher, and Nicky Torchia as Stabler’s son Eli Stabler in recurring roles. However, no real information about the characters has been released by NBC yet, so we can’t provide more information on them as of yet.
What’s it about?
Speaking of the synopsis, NBC teased that Stabler’s return is on the tail of a “devastating personal loss” – what exactly this is is yet unclear though again, many suspect it being related to his wife and/or children.
TVLine also speculates that Organized Crime will “address widespread public protests of racist acts performed by police departments all over the United States”, thanks to the synopsis indicating a dramatic change in the police department that he must learn to adjust to as he rebuilds his life and career.
Law & Order: Organized Crime is scheduled to debut on Thursday, April 1st with a Law & Order: SVU crossover.
The two-hour Organized Crime premiere event will begin with an SVU episode (Law and Order: SVU season 22 episode 9 titled “Return Of The Prodigal Son”) at 9/8 central during which we will see the SVU squad helping Detective Stabler look for the suspect who threatened his family. Which will be followed by the series premiere episode of Law & Order: Organized Crime (titled “What Happens in Puglia”) at 10/9 central.