Since laying down his badge as Detective Elliot Stabler, fans have been wondering why Christopher Meloni left SVU and why he came back for his spinoff, Organized crime.
Meloni made his debut as Detective Stabler in Law and order spin off, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, in September 1999. The show followed Stabler and his partner, Detective Olivia Benson, as they worked in the Special Victims Unit in a fictionalized version of the New York City Police Department. Meloni starred in the series for 12 seasons until he left in May 2011.
However, this was not the last time Law and order fans saw Detective Stabler. Meloni returned to the role in April 2021 in Law and order spin off, Law and order: Organized crime, who saw Stabler only return to the police to find out how much the criminal justice system had changed in the last decade.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2021, Meloni confessed that he did not miss SVU since he was not on it, but he is ready to return to the franchise. “I would not have any problem admitting it. But I was pleasantly surprised that it played as well as it did, ”he said. Because, you know, that’s not how life shakes, is it? You can have all the dreams you want, all the preconceived notions of what it will be like. But I have to say that the intervening decade was all I could have hoped for. ”
So why did Christopher leave Meloni SVU and what made him return and repeat his role as Detective Elliot Stabler? Read on for that answer.
Why Christopher left Meloni SVU?
So… why did Christopher Meloni leave SVU? In an interview with Men’s health in August 2021, Meloni revealed that he was leaving SVU after season 12 due to problems with his contract negotiation. Meloni told the magazine that he asked NBC for more pay, but since the network could not give him the pay he wanted, he tried to negotiate the number of episodes he was in, which the creators of SVU could not approve either.
My thought was: Instead of 22 episodes, bring me back in nine episodes, or bring me back in 18 episodes. They literally came to me one Thursday night and said, ‘This is the deal. We want the answer tomorrow. It’s our way or no way, ”he said. Meloni responded by telling the creators of SVU, “I do not want to fuck with you. That’s what I want. If you can not do that, that’s fine. Let’s find out my exit. ”
In an interview with The New York Post in July 2020, Meloni also revealed that he was leaving SVU simply because he wanted “new adventures”. As fans remember, Stabler, who was married with five children, left the series after retiring from police after a self-defense shooting in the season 12 final.
“How I left was another problem and had nothing to do with Law and order people, the SVU people or with Dick Wolf, ”Meloni said. “I left with no enmity, but I left clearly and with open eyes to come forward and find new adventures. “I was like, ‘This is what I want to do, keep moving forward.’ ‘
He continued: “I had done it Law and order way of telling, which they do really well, and I was interested in telling stories from a different angle – whether it’s comical or inhabiting a new world or doing it on different platforms. ”
After departure SVU, Meloni continued to play in shows like The Maid’s Tale, Pose and Veep, has also starred in films such as Wet hot American summer and MAXXX. In his interview with The New York Post, Meloni also talked about why he came back to Law and order for its spinoff, Law and order: Organized crime. He revealed that his decision started with a conversation with franchisee Dick Wolf. “It really came down to Dick Wolf calling and saying he wanted to discuss a project,” Meloni said. I was like, ‘Oh, really? OKAY.’ I was shocked. “I never thought this would happen, but the circumstances for me changed. So ‘yes’ was the correct answer. “
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, executive producer Ilene Chaiken explained how Organized crime differs from SVU, which may have played a role in Meloni’s decision to return. “It’s not a week’s case, because organized crime does not work that way,” she said. “It’s an episodic show; the sections will stand on their own. But the stories will also play out over the course of an entire season. ”
Meloni also told EW that he returned for “various personal reasons”. “I was fascinated by various personal reasons,” he said. “If you have, at least from my perspective, a very famous and beloved TV character who abruptly left and I would argue without there being a ceremony … there is a built-in recognizability, a thing to saturated with a feeling of closure. These are all very attractive things. ”
As for whose fans can expect a permanent return to SVU, Meloni nix any chance for that. “I would not do that,” he said. “It felt like returning to what it was. That boat had sailed. ”
Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and Organized crime air Thursdays s at. 20 and 21 on NBC. Stream the next day on Hulu or Peacock.
For more on Law and order, check True stories of law and order: The real crimes behind the best episodes of the hit TV series by Kevin Dwyer and Juré Fiorillo. The book covers 25 cases from Law & Order and its spinoffs most popular episodes, from how a woman’s repressed memory led to solving a 30-year-old cold case to the high-profile investigation of millionaire Robert Durst. Like Law and order fans know, crime is only the beginning and the real information can come from the trial and controversial verdicts. If you love Law and order, you will be obsessed with these “true crimes that are foreign and more relaxing than fiction.”
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