The Law & Order franchise will make history when all three series return in the fall. NBC has officially announced that the casts of each spin-off – Law & Order, Special Victims Unit and Organized Crime – will come together for a three-hour special event, kicking off the new seasons of each criminal procedural.
Capt. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), Det. Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) and District Attorney Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) will join forces on a single case that will unite all three of their units for one all-encompassing story.
The night kicks off with Det. Frank Cosgrove (Jeffrey Donovan) and Det. Jalen Shaw (Mehcad Brooks, making his franchise debut) tracking down the killer of a mysterious young girl. Benson and Stabler are eventually called in to help when it’s revealed that the case is more than a typical homicide. With the discovery of key evidence, Jack McCoy and ADA Nolan Price (Hugh Dancy) attempt to bring justice against an international crime ring, but the outcome is threatened by unexpected complications.
The crossover event was written by Rick Eid (Law & Order) and Gwen Sigan (Chicago P.D.), with the first two hours directed by franchise veteran Jean de Segonzac while Alex Hall helms the final hour.
“Nothing demonstrates the power of the Law & Order brand more than an ambitious three-hour event with a story that is truly ripped from the headlines that starts on Organized Crime, then migrates to SVU and finally the trial on Law & Order,” creator Dick Wolf said. “Rick and Gwen did an amazing job writing a compelling script and I can’t think of a bigger and better way to launch the new season of Law & Order Thursday.”
The official confirmation of a three-part crossover comes after various cast members teased one was coming when the franchise eventually returned with new episodes.
“All I can tell you is that my contract has crossovers written into it all over the place,” said Camryn Manheim, who stars on Law & Order as Lt. Kate Dixon, while Danielle Moné Truitt, who plays Sgt. Ayanna Bell on OC, said, “It will be really exciting to see how all our writers work together to make connections with the different departments and different forces.”
“Dick has already told me that we’re going to. So, it’s just a matter of time,” Hargitay teased at the time. “I’m excited about the night that it’s a three-show crossover, which sounds impossible but we can do it.”
Also slated to appear in the crossover event are the other full-time casts members, including Ainsley Seiger, Brent Antonello and Rick Gonzalez of OC, Ice T, Kelli Giddish, Peter Scanavino and Octavio Pisano of SVU, and Odelya Halevi of L&O.
The Law & Order crossover premiere airs Thursday, Sept. 22 starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC. It will also be available to stream the next day on Peacock.