Law & Order Fans Prepare to Say Goodbye to the Most Iconic Franchise Hero

Law & Order Fans Prepare to Say Goodbye to the Most Iconic Franchise Hero
Image credit: NBC

Though some may say the antihero title would’ve been more fitting.


  • The Law & Order franchise now consists of 3 ongoing NBC series, but only 2 of them have been renewed for the next season.
  • Law & Order: Organized Crime's season 5 is still in pending status as negotiations continue.
  • Fans believe that if OC isn't renewed, Christopher Meloni’s Elliot Stabler would be out of Law & Order for good.

Whatever you think of the latest Law & Order installments, it's safe to say that these shows are still popular enough to keep them going. Whether it's a matter of nostalgia or viewers sticking around just to make sure they don't miss out on something really important, Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU aren't going anywhere.

Law & Order: OC is a completely different story. For some discreet reason, the newest addition to the franchise hasn't been renewed yet, and it's got fans really worried about what that means for the show's star, Christopher Meloni, and his character, Elliot Stabler.

Is Christopher Meloni Leaving Law & Order?

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Though it's impossible to say for sure, as Organized Crime can still be renewed for another season if the NBC execs find a common ground, fans are worried they'll have to say goodbye forever to Elliot Stabler once the show ends.

While Law & Order characters can move around within the franchise, and Stabler has a pretty strong connection to his SVU past, many believe a return isn't in the cards. Instead, the character will be written off completely, and with him, any hopes of Bensler ever becoming a full-fledged canon couple, which many fans still hold.

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While Elliot Stabler's character originated on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, he retired in the show's 13th season and never really looked back. It wasn't until 2020 that Stabler's return to the Law & Order universe was announced, but it had nothing to do with SVU. Instead, Stabler has become a star of organized crime.

Judging by what Christopher Meloni himself has said about returning to Special Victims Unit, the hope that he'll return if OC is canceled is practically non-existent. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about his return to work with SVU, the actor was adamant that it wouldn't be permanent:

“That, I didn't want to do. That felt like going back to what was. That boat had sailed,” he said.

That boat, that ship even, hasn't sailed yet for many fans who still hope to see Stabler and Benson reunited, whether in an on-screen romantic arc or an off-screen ordeal. However, as the years go by, the hope of actually seeing Bensler become canon diminishes.

If you refuse to give up hope of seeing Stabler back on SVU, be sure to keep an eye out for more news and updates about ongoing Law & Order shows and their renewals. You can tune in to Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: OC every Thursday beginning April 11.

Source: Entertainment Weekly