'Law & Order: SVU': How Selena Gomez's 'Only Murders in the Building' Pays Tribute to Christopher Meloni

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit references can be found almost everywhere, including in the new Hulu series Only Murders in the Building. The fantastic series stars Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez as true-crime podcast fans who start their own podcast after someone is murdered in their upscale Manhattan building. In the Sept. 21 episode, "To Protect and Serve," there was a hilarious reference to SVU and the physique of star Christopher Meloni.

In the episode, Short and Martin's characters finally visit the childhood home of Gomez's Mabel Mora. They discovered she had a cardboard cut-out of Meloni in full Det. Elliot Stabler gear. The two older characters joked about Mabel's crush on Stabler, but she defended it. She noted Stabler "always kept it tight," referring to his physique, which has also become an Internet obsession since Stabler returned to Law & Order last season.

Meloni returned to the Law & Order franchise after a decade-long absence last year, first with an appearance in SVU and then in his new show, Law & Order: Organized Crime. Both SVU and OC kicked off their new seasons last week. After Stabler and the Organized Crime Control Bureau spent Season 1 chasing after Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott), who is accused of ordering the death of Stabler's wife Kathy, they are now focusing on breaking up the cocaine trade in New York City. This week, NBC is airing a three-hour SVU/OC crossover, in which fans might finally learn what was in the letter Stabler gave Capt. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) last season.

Only Murders in the Building launched in late August, with each new episode published on Hulu Tuesdays. The series was created by Martin and John Hoffman. It centers on Charles-Haden Savage (Martin), Oliver Putnam (Short), and Mabel who decide to investigate the murder of Tim Kono (Julian Cihi), who also lived in their swanky New York City apartment building, for a new podcast they're recording. Their investigation takes a series of surprising turns as the season goes on. The show also stars Amy Ryan, Aaron Dominguez, Nathan Lane, Jackie Hoffman, James Caverly, Jayne Houdyshell, and Olivia Reis.


Earlier this month, Hulu renewed Only Murders for a second season. It's not clear if the project will focus on a new case. "Everyone in our amazing Building worked with such love and expertise through extraordinary times - and with incredible support from Disney, Hulu, and 20th TV - to create a first season that might live up to our legendary cast, our beloved New York City, and to make a show about connection," Hoffman said in a statement. "To feel we've connected with our audience and hit the mark enough already to have the chance to continue - and to carry on our show's wild ride of mystery-comedy-empathy - is too exciting for words. So I'll shut up now - and just say a huge thanks to all and I can't wait for more!"