*The original “Law & Order” is returning to television after more than a decade off the air.
According to a statement from series creator Dick Wolf and his Wolf Entertainment, the series will return to NBC for Season 21, and “will continue where the show left off in 2010, with the classic format that explores two separate, yet equally important groups: ‘the police who investigate crimes and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.’
As reported by PEOPLE, the premiere date and casting have not been announced.
“There are very few things in life that are literally dreams come true,” Dick Wolf said in the statement. “This is mine.”
“Law & Order” aired from 1990 until 2010, and bagged 50 Emmy nominations. The series launched several spinoffs, including the latest addition to the franchise, “Law & Order: Organized Crime” with Christopher Meloni.
After spending 12 years playing Stabler alongside Mariska Hargitay as Oliva Benson on “Law&Order: SVU,” Meloni quit the series in 2011 and went on to star in a slew of projects, including HBO’s “True Blood,” the slave series “Underground,” which aired on WGN and SyFy’s “Happy.”
Meloni’s big comeback as Stabler on “Organized Crime“ (OC) was only made possible after Dick Wolf piqued the actor’s interest with how he would approach the series.
“I mean this exactly how I’m saying it: I never once thought about it or looked backward,” Meloni said of revisiting Elliot Stabler during NBC’s panel at the TCA summer press tour.
“I think I had done a great run, 12 years. Enjoyed most of it, was ready to move on. Was more than pleased with all of the adventures, all of the different projects I got to do, all of the travel I got to do, all the different characters I got to inhabit. I couldn’t have asked for a better,” he told EURweb’s Ny MaGee.
“I think to Dick’s credit, he — I don’t know — maybe he sensed I wasn’t as interested in revisiting how, you know, the “SVU” tells a story, which is great, and they do it so wonderfully. So, when he pitched this more serialized expression of his latest idea of a “Law & Order” show, the “OC,” I really thought it was kind of a stroke of genius,” Meloni explained.
“I didn’t think that was even kind of anything he was thinking about. So, I was pleasantly pleased and surprised and excited when I got the pitch. And it was just on the basis of the type of storytelling that the “OC” allows us. And I just think it just allows for a little more in-depth analysis of characters and relationships and that kind of stuff. So, I appreciated that. And I think with Ilene Chaiken running the show, it’s really lived up to what Dick had hoped for,” he added.
After a 10-year hiatus from the “Law & Order” world, Meloni’s return in April became NBC’s biggest digital launch ever.