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Here's Your First Look at This Beloved TV Character's Return a Decade Later

"SVU" fans, this is what you've been waiting for.

Law & Order: SVU fans have missed Elliot Stabler since Christopher Meloni left the series in 2011. But good news: Elliot is back. Nine years after leaving the series, Meloni is returning SVU as his old character and then starring on his own spin-off, Law & Order: Organized Crime. It will still be a little while before we see Meloni on screen once again, fighting offenses of the especially heinous variety. But for now, Meloni has shared a couple behind-the-scenes pictures from set.

According to People, Meloni decided to leave the show after Season 12 when contract negotiations broke down nearly a decade ago. "How I left was a different issue and had nothing to do with the Law & Order people, the SVU people or with [the show's creator]," Meloni told Page Six in July. "I left with zero animosity, but I did leave clearly and open-eyed in going forward and finding new adventures."

Now, that new adventure is his spin-off show. Read on to see more of what Meloni shared on Instagram and for details on the new series. And for the characters who dominated the small screen for all the wrong reasons, check out The Most Hated TV Characters of All Time.

Read the original article on Best Life.

He's got Stabler's old tattoo on again.

Christopher Meloni Stabler tattoo
Christopher Meloni/Instagram

On Tuesday, Dec. 8, Meloni posted a photo of the fake tattoo he long wore as Stabler, once again affixed to his forearm. Stabler was a member of the Marine Corps, which is why Meloni has to sport this tattoo when he's in character. The 59-year-old actor captioned the Instagram "#firstdayofschool" to mark his return to set. And for some real celeb ink, check out Madonna Just Got Her First Tattoo and It's for All Her Kids.

And he hung out with his daughter on set.

Christopher Meloni and daughter
Christopher Meloni/Instagram

Meloni also posted this photo of himself with his daughter, Sophia Meloni. "Get to work with my girl- #BestDayEver," he captioned the pic. It's unclear what exactly he means—whether she's involved in the show in some capacity or just visiting. And for more celebrity kids all grown up, check out Gwyneth Paltrow Posts Rare Photo of 16-Year-Old Lookalike Daughter, Apple.

Stabler will likely make his return in spring 2021.

Christopher Meloni at CNN Heroes 2017
Ron Adar /

According to People, initially, Meloni was going to appear on the Season 22 premiere of Law & Order: SVU in the fall of 2020. Law & Order: Organized Crime would then air in the time slot after SVU, Thursdays at 10 p.m. But, due to a change of showrunner for Organized Crime, the debut was pushed back, as was Meloni's appearance on SVU.

There isn't a premiere date set for the new series, but People reports it is expected for the spring of 2021, meaning Meloni would likely appear on SVU Season 22 around the same time.

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And Mariska Hargitay will also appear on the Stabler spin-off.

Christopher Meloni & Mariska Hargitay
Christopher Meloni/Instagram

We might not know exactly when Stabler is coming back, but we do know what he'll be up to. According to NBC's synopsis of Organized Crime, Stabler "returns to the NYPD to battle organized crime after a devastating personal loss. However, the city and police department have changed dramatically in the decade he's been away, and he must adapt to a criminal justice system in the midst of its own moment of reckoning."

Fans can expect to see Stabler's former partner in crime-fighting, too. During an interview on The Talk, Meloni said Mariska Hargitay would be appearing as Olivia Benson on Organized Crime, People reports. As for how much we'll see of her, he said, "I think whatever we can slice away, whatever the writers come up with. I think we will both be looking forward to playing with each other in each other's sandbox."

And for some of the best new shows of the year, check out The Best Netflix Original Shows of 2020 So Far.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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