Why Isn’t Elliot Stabler in ‘SVU’? Chris Meloni Hints At ‘Unresolved Emotions’ With Olivia Benson

Elliot Stabler was a beloved fixture on Regulation & Order: SVU for 12 seasons in as a few years. With the discharge of the present’s twenty fourth season in 2022, many followers of his character are questioning why Elliot Stabler isn’t in SVU anymore and why Christopher Meloni left within the first place—and whether or not he’ll workforce up along with his accomplice Olivia Benson (Marishka Hargitay) once more.

Regulation & Order: Particular Victims Unit—also called SVU—is a by-product of Dick Wolf’s Regulation & Order present however is arguably extra in style because of the dynamic Stabler/Benson duo, who debuted on-screen in 1999. Because the introduction to the present goes: “Within the prison justice system, sexually-based offenses are thought of particularly heinous. In New York Metropolis, the devoted detectives who examine these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad generally known as the Particular Victims Unit.” Detective Benson and Detective Stabler had been completely complementary to one another, representing the assorted feelings the general public feels when horrific crimes occur. In an interview with TV Week in 2007, SVU co-executive producer Neal Baer defined that “Mariska is the empathetic, passionate voice for these victims, and Chris [Meloni] is the fad we really feel, the ‘How can this occur?’ feeling. They each signify the sentiments that we really feel concurrently once we hear about these instances. That’s why they work so nicely collectively.” Regardless of his character’s recognition, Meloni exited the present abruptly in 2011. Learn on to seek out out why.

Why isn’t Elliot Stabler in SVU?

Christopher Meloni left SVU in 2011 following an alleged wage dispute. Deadline reported on the time that the present’s community NBC couldn’t comply with a brand new deal. Meloni confirmed he had no regrets about leaving the present throughout an interview on Watch What Occurs Reside With Andy Cohen in 2017. “Not for a day,” he replied when Cohen requested him if he regretted leaving. “How do you know it was time to depart?” Meloni shrugged and chuckled, “when negotiations broke down.” Each Meloni and Hargitay reportedly earned $400,000 per episode whereas on the present and every episode takes a little bit over every week to shoot. Whereas that seems like lots (greater than $2,300 an hour), the solid and crew of SVU work exceptionally lengthy and arduous hours. “You’re doing these scripts back-to-back, and it could take eight days to do an episode,” Meloni described to NPR in 2019. “You begin on Monday, and the next Wednesday you end. And Thursday, you will have your new script. And this continues for 9 months. And after about 4 or 5 months, you’re extra liquid than stable.”

Christopher Meloni, Marishka Hargitay

Will Hart/NBC/Everett Assortment

Regardless of being assured Meloni and NBC might come to an settlement, the community and the actor couldn’t see eye-to-eye and Meloni made a swift exit. In an interview with Males’s Well being, Meloni spoke about how he tried to barter fewer episodes. “My thought was: As an alternative of twenty-two episodes, carry me again for 9 episodes, or carry me again for 18 episodes. They actually got here to me on a Thursday night time and stated, ‘That is the deal. We wish the reply by tomorrow. It’s our method or no method,’” he stated. Meloni responded by telling the creators of SVU, “I don’t wish to fuck round with you guys. That is what I would like. If you happen to can’t do it, that’s wonderful. Let’s work out my exit.” His departure from the present had nothing to do with the solid or crew themselves, however fairly he defined it was time for a brand new problem. “How I left was a distinct challenge and had nothing to do with the Regulation & Order folks, the SVU folks or with Dick Wolf,” he instructed the New York Submit in July 2020. “I left with zero animosity, however I did depart clearly and open-eyed in going ahead and discovering new adventures. I used to be like, ‘That’s what I wish to do, preserve shifting ahead’,” he continued. “I had completed the Regulation & Order method of storytelling, which they do very well, and I used to be concerned with telling tales from a distinct angle—whether or not comedic or inhabiting a brand new world or doing it on totally different platforms.” Meloni’s ultimate season on SVU, season 12 ended with Stabler coming to phrases with fatally capturing a younger lady who’d opened hearth on the precinct, however by the point Benson returned to her desk for season 13, she was blindsided by the information her accomplice had retired, which got here as a shock to followers and it was an ending deemed “unsatisfying” by Meloni in an interview with the New York Submit.

Why did Christopher Meloni come again to Regulation & Order?

In 2021, Christopher Meloni reprised his function as Elliot Stabler in a brand new Regulation & Order spinoff that different enormously from what he was doing as a part of the Particular Victims Unit. The synopsis of the present described Stabler returning to the NYPD “to battle organized crime after a devastating private loss,” per NBC. “Nevertheless, the town and police division have modified dramatically within the decade he’s been away, and he should adapt to a prison justice system within the midst of its personal second of reckoning.” However simply because he’s on a distinct present doesn’t imply Stabler gained’t ever see his accomplice Detective Benson once more.

In an interview with the Submit, Meloni stated the duo is “inextricably linked” and that there might be crossovers between SVU and Organized Crime. They went by lots collectively in any case and so they have unfinished enterprise between them. “Benson and Stabler are inextricably linked, locked and linked,” he stated. “I feel there’s actually and deeply a worthwhile, inherent drama in exploring that relationship and the complexity of how Stabler left—the unresolved feelings each characters really feel and the way the followers really feel.”

Regulation & Order: SVU is accessible to stream on Peacock. Right here’s the best way to subscribe free of charge.

Picture: Courtesy of Berkley.

For extra about Regulation & Order, take a look at True Tales of Regulation & Order: The Actual Crimes Behind the Finest Episodes of the Hit TV Present by Kevin Dwyer and Juré Fiorillo. The ebook covers 25 instances from Regulation & Order and its spinoffs’ hottest episodes, from how a girl’s repressed reminiscence led to fixing a 30-year-old chilly case to the high-profile investigation of millionaire Robert Durst. Like Regulation & Order followers know, the crime is simply the beginning and the actual data can come from the trial and controversial verdicts. If you happen to love Regulation & Order, you’ll be obsessive about these “true crimes which can be usually stranger and extra chilling than fiction.”

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