Ellen Burstyn will reprise her Emmy-winning role as Det. Elliot Stabler's mother Bernadette Stabler in Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2. Burstyn starred as Stabler's mother in the 2008 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Swing." The Oscar-winning star also recently agreed to star in Universal's upcoming The Exorcist films.
The Organized Crime episode will see Burstyn reunite with Christopher Meloni, who returned to the Law & Order franchise 10 years after leaving Law & Order: Special Victims Unit earlier this year. Burstyn only appeared in one SVU episode, but it was an important one. In "Swing," Stabler sought out his previously unseen mother in an effort to help his daughter, Kathleen (Allison Siko), notes Give Me My Remote. Bernie was revealed to be bipolar. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) pushed Bernie to help Kathleen face her own mental health struggles and seek help. Bernie did not use medication herself and was estranged from Stabler.
Although Organized Crime Season 1's focus was on the Organized Crime Control Bureau's investigation into Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott), the show delved further into Stabler's personal life as he struggled to get his life on track after his wife Kathy's death. His relationship with his youngest son Eli (Nicky Torchia) was an important part of the show, while his older children tried to stage an intervention in one episode. Stabler's other family members could be featured in future seasons. "Certainly in the future seasons, everything is on the table," showrunner Ilene Chaiken told Give Me My Remote.
Organized Crime Season 2 will debut on Thursday, Sept. 23 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, following a two-hour SVU episode. Ron Cephas Jones (This Is Us) will star as Congressman Leon Kilbride, who was mentioned but not seen in Season 1. Vinnie Jones (Arrow) will play gangster Albi Briscu. Dylan McDermott will return in Season 2 as recurring since his story was not completely tied up at the end of the first season.
Burstyn earned an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for "Swing" in 2009. She later won another Emmy for Political Animals. She is also an Oscar-winner for her performance in Martin Scorsese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974). She also won a Tony in 1975 for Same Time, Next Year.
Late last month, Universal Pictures shocked Hollywood by spending $400 million to buy the rights to The Exorcist, with plans to produce three movies. The first film is set to hit theaters on Oct. 13, 2023, and follow-up films could be released on Peacock. Burstyn, who starred in the original 1973 classic as Chris MacNeil, signed on to star in the new movies. Blumhouse will produce the films, with David Gordon Green (Halloween) directing. Leslie Odom Jr. will star as a father who seeks Burstyn's character after his own child is possessed.