The upcoming Law & Order: SVU spinoff starring Christopher Meloni has been delayed amid the series showrunner being changed. According to The Hollywood Reporter, sources have stated that Matt Olmstead is exiting as showrunner of Law & Order: Organized Crime, due to "challenges cracking the show's creative." The straight-to-series police drama was planned to air this fall, but will likely now be pushed back for an undetermined amount of time.
Olmstead recently signed a three-year overall deal with Universal TV and is expected to work on another Dick Wolf-produced series. No new showrunner for the Law & Order: SVU spinoff has been announced. Additionally, the shows complete cast has not been revealed, and production has not started. The show was ordered straight-to-series back in March, and is slated to have 13 episodes for its first season. THR noted that NBC, Universal TV and Wolf Entertainment declined to comment on Olmstead's exit.
Meloni previously appeared as Elliot Stabler on the first 12 Seasons of SVU, opposite series star Mariska Hargitay, who plays Olivia Benson. A fan-favorite of the show's viewers, Meloni's depiction of Stabler garnered him an Emmy nomination in 2006, for best lead actor in a drama series. Meloni exited Law & Order: SVU in 2011, with Stabler being written off as having suddenly decided to retire from the NYPD. Since leaving SVU, Meloni has appeared in several other series, such as WGN America's Underground, and SyFy's Happy!
In July, Meloni spoke with Entertainment Tonight about returning as Stabler, saying that "a certain piece just fell into place." He continued, "For me, there were just personal things that I was like, 'You know, now is a good time.' That was it. There was nothing secret. It just was effortlessly correct." Meloni added, "It's one of these [things where] I felt like I believed in the stars and all that… I'd go, 'Oh, the stars are telling me you know but because it was just right.'"
Meloni was initially scheduled to first return as Stabler on the Season 22 premiere of Law & Order: SVU, but that changed as well. "These days, all plans are subject to change. And then they change again. And again. For now, we won't reintroduce Stabler until the night of his Organized Crime premiere," tweeted SVU showrunner Warren Leight, in August. "[The SVU writers room] has to be NIMBLE this year."