Law & Order

Could A Law And Order: SVU Crossover Help Organized Crime’s Renewal Odds? I Have Mixed Feelings

While we wait, let’s speculate!

Two of NBC’s three Law & Order franchise shows recently got some very good news with guarantees of at least one more season each, but Law & Order: Organized Crime was left out of the renewal announcement. At the time, the report was that OC’s status was still in discussion, and there has been no update yet. As fans worry about the future of the SVU spinoff, I can’t help but wonder: could a crossover with somebody from Stabler’s former show help the renewal odds in what remains of OC Season 4 in the 2024 TV season?

Rarely are scripted TV events as well-hyped on NBC as crossovers between Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime, and understandably so. The two are arguably the most closely-connected series in Dick Wolf’s massively successful TV universe, including the three in One Chicago and the three FBIs that air over on CBS. The bond between Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson and Christopher Meloni’s Elliot Stabler literally goes back to the 20th century thanks to the pilot in 1999.

And I can be realistic – the Law & Order shows are only expected to run for 13 episodes this spring due to the production delays from the WGA writers strike and SAG-AFTRA actors strike, so a multi-episode crossover event like the one that ended SVU Season 24 and OC Season 3 last year is almost certainly out of the question. After all, the next installments will be the ninth episodes of the season. But if Peter Scanavino’s Carisi could drop by Organized Crime, could somebody even bigger make a one-off appearance for an extra hook to attract viewers?

And is there any more guaranteed way to generate some buzz for both shows than a reunion between the two leads? Well, even as a big fan of SVU and OC who very much hopes to see Stabler and Co. back for Season 5, I’m of two minds about whether an appearance from Mariska Hargitay on Organized Crime this spring would be helpful due to one very specific example. So, with the Law & Order shows on a break until April 11 and plenty of time to speculate on a hypothetical mini crossover, let’s go on a blast to the past and dig in!

Christopher Meloni’s Appearance In SVU’s Season 24 Gang Arc Didn’t Go Over Well

Benson and Stabler didn’t share too much screen time last season outside of premiere and finale events, but SVU fans undoubtedly remember the heavily-publicized appearance from Christopher Meloni in the dangerous BX9 three-parter for Benson in Season 24. Stabler appearing before the end of the arc was hyped enough that many fans built expectations that he’d have a role to play in the actual plot, and for once, it seemed like a bait-and-switch wasn’t going to be possible with the two former partners getting VERY close.

But Stabler didn’t appear in the first episode of the arc, and he didn’t appear in the second. He wasn’t even in the majority of the third episode. He turned up for one quick – albeit important – scene. I thought that the actors absolutely nailed the scene in Benson’s kitchen with Stabler making his first overt move on her, and I was very glad that it didn’t go any farther, but fans on social media who had greater expectations had A LOT to say about the misdirect of an almost-kiss.

Now, I actually loved the scene, not least because I’ve always believed that Stabler needs to put in the time and effort if he wants to have any kind of relationship with her after he ghosted her for a decade and then The Letter. But the buzz after the reveal that Stabler’s guest appearance was more of a cameo for a bait-and-switch wasn’t particularly positive.

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