The long-running NBC crime drama is back as Olivia Benson faces off with a congressman.
The Law & Order franchise returns Thursday, Sept. 23 with a two-part premiere for SVU’s historic 23rd season followed by the return of Organized Crime with its second installment. Ahead of the big night, NBC released a dramatic new teaser for SVU’s back-to-back episodes, which shows Olivia Benson’s (Mariska Hargitay) life in danger.
Picking up after the events of the action-packed season 22 finale, a congressman played by Ben Rappaport is identified as a suspect in the sex-for-housing case.
“Congressman Howard, you’re a sexual predator. So guess what happens next,” Benson tells him before Christian Garland (Demore Barnes) is seen worrying about “how high” this case goes. That’s when the teaser cuts to the politician saying, “I’m not going to prison. I’m going to be president.”
The 30-second clip then ends with Benson’s car going off the side of the road and Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) appearing at the scene. “Liv, stay with me,” he says.
The dramatic teaser gives only a brief tease of what’s to come this season, which features a number of major changes, including the departure of Barnes and Jamie Gray Hyder as Kat Tamin. Both actors are leaving the series after the two-part premiere, bringing an end to their short-lived arcs as series regulars on the franchise.
Meanwhile, Organized Crime’s season 2 premiere follows right after, with two new additions to the series: Ron Cephas Jones joins as Congressman Leon Kilbride while Vinnie Jones has been cast as the European gangster Albi Briscu.
The first episode sees Stabler and his partner, Ayanna Bell (Danielle Moné Truitt), attempting to take down a notorious family involved in NYC’s cocaine trade.