The Law & Order: SVU alum shared the first photos of his anticipated return as the beloved character on Tuesday evening, as he kicked off the first day of filming on the NBC procedural in New York City. He reprises his role as Stabler for the first time in almost a decade.
Meloni's appearance on season 22 of SVUwill lead into the spinoff, Law & Order: Organized Crime, which is set to debut sometime in 2021. (It was originally slated for the season 22 premiere, before SVU was pushed off NBC's fall schedule, delaying his return.)
Accompanying an Instagram photo of Stabler's tattoo, Meloni wrote in the caption, "#firstdayofschool."
Showrunner and executive producer Warren Leight posted a similar image on Twitter. “Well, we had a pretty good read-thru,” he wrote, confirming that the virtual reunion was in preparation for the long-awaited reunion between Benson and Stabler.
Scattered around this @NBCSVU zoom screen grab: our fantastic west coast editors, our incomparable @SVUWritersRoom, our insanely adroit #SVU22 squad, New York's hardest working producing team, and the guy who started it all (top row, middle)
Meloni is expected to reprise his role sometime in season 22 ahead of Organized Crime's launch. Production on the new series, however, was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and staff changes, pushing its premiere to the spring and postponing his reunion with Hargitay.
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