Law And Order: What The Delayed Seasons Could Mean For SVU's Benson And Organized Crime's Stabler In 2024

Benson and Stabler after she was shot in SVU/OC crossover
(Image credit: NBC)

Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime are a pretty dynamite duo of crime dramas paired together on NBC's Thursday nights, so much so that the original Law & Order sometimes feels like it's set in a totally different TV universe than Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler's. When NBC announced the renewals back in the spring, SVU was originally planned to return for Season 25 in the fall (along with L&O Season 23), but OC Season 4 only received an order for 13 episodes and a midseason – a.k.a. 2024 – premiere. Now, in light of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes delaying so many TV shows, it's time for fans to reevaluate and try to find a sliver of a silver lining.

While we can only speculate at this point as to when the AMPTP will agree to terms with the WGA writers and SAG-AFTRA actors to get TV and film productions moving again, I'm going to assume for argument's sake that both Law & Order: SVU and Organized Crime will be back in the new year, presumably with SVU running for fewer than the original plan for 22 episodes. 

Could OC and SVU both run for the same amount of episodes, and therefore actually let Mariska Hargitay's Benson and Christopher Meloni's Stabler interact on screen early in their new seasons rather than Benson go half a season seeing neither hide nor hair of her former partner? After how SVU's Season 24 finale and OC's Season 3 finale ended the spring with the two finally on firm footing again with each other, I have a hard time believing that the characters wouldn't try to continue reconnecting.

The end of the finale two-parter did set up why Stabler probably wouldn't be around in the fall, but that was well before the strikes began and the future of the 2023-2024 TV season was so uncertain. I'd previously wondered if we would see Stabler and the rest of the OC task force on SVU or L&O before midseason of the 2023-2024 TV season; now, could we get the task force back at the same time as Special Victims?

Unfortunately, all we can do at this point is speculate and hope for the best, but after another Thursday night with reruns and no promo hyping that the three Law & Order shows will be back as we might usually get at this time of the year, I'm willing to look for a silver lining wherever possible. And at the end of the day, what was previously impossible with SVU on the fall schedule and OC planned for midseason is now within the realm of possibility... if the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes against the AMPTP resolve with time to spare, anyway.

For now, we can all at least revisit Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription, as well as the original Law & Order after it hit a milestone of its own in the spring. For what actually is coming to television this fall, check out our 2023 TV schedule!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).