Law & Order: Organized Crime Suffers Unexpected Setback, Falling Off the 2020 Schedule

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Well, darn.

We need to temper our excitement for an upcoming spinoff of the Law & Order franchise.

That doesn't mean we have to like it, but at least Law & Order: Organized Crime is still on the way.

Chris Meloni

So what's caused this delay?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, showrunner Matt Olmstead is exiting the upcoming show, which received a straight-to-series order.

It seems that Olmstead, who has a long history with Dick Wolf on the Chicago franchise, has signed a three-year overall deal to return to Universal TV to produce another Wolf-produced show.

Law & Order: Organized Crime reunites us with Christopher Meloni's Elliot Stabler, a character that left Law & Order: SVU years ago but has never been far from the hearts and minds of fans.

Stabler Tall

It also offers the opportunity for renewed on-screen sparks between Stabler and his former partner, Mariska Hargitay's Oliva Benson, since the two shows will both call New York City home.

Meloni left the franchise at the end of Law & Order: SVU Season 12.

Stabler was involved in a deadly shootout that ultimately led to his abrupt retirement from the force, something we didn't learn until well into Law & Order: SVU Season 13.

The spinoff finds Stabler returning to the NYPD after suffering a devastating loss. Yes, we are very interested in learning what that is, too, but we're pleased he'll be back on the job and leading the Organized Crime unit.

Stabler Suit Tall

The official synopsis suggests that Stabler might have a difficult time adjustin got the changes to the criminal justice system, which was, at the time of the series announcement, "in the midst of its own moment of reckoning."

If it was in the midst of that moment when the series was picked up, we can only imagine what the recent real-world events might mean to all things related to criminal justice on TV.

We expect there will be an adapation of sorts to on-screen justice as the world maneuvers law enforcement to reconicile past behaviors with the present culture.

"Stabler will aim to find absolution and rebuild his life while leading an elite new task force that is taking apart the city's most powerful crime syndicates one by one," the synopsis continues.

Stabler & Benson

No doubt, Olmstead would have handled the show beautifully. We love what he did with the redemptive arc of Dex Parios on Stumptown.

Now, it seems they might be starting from scratch, with another showrunner offering a different vision of the same series.

The vacancy and hunt for Olmstead's replacement puts a hold on Law & Order: Organized Crime, which was expected to launch this fall on Thursdays in the 10/9c time slot.

Granted, we still don't have set dates for many returning shows, but this is a blow for the excitement we had for what might soon make its way back to broadcast before January.

Christopher Meloni Photo

The 13-episode series order will now likely makes its debut in January or later, depending on how long it takes to find a suitable replacement and, of course, any further coronavirus delays to the industry.

We still have high hope for the series and other NBC shows that are returning (only This Is Us has a firm return date), but we'd sure appreciate good news instead of further delays -- of any kind.

Are you bummed?

Are you still excited to invite Elliot Stabler back into your living room?

Sound off in the comments!

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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