'Law & Order: Organized Crime' First Look at Chris Meloni, Dylan McDermott and Cast (Exclusive)

Law and Order Organized Crime

ET has exclusive new images of Meloni reprising his role as Elliot Stabler in the new 'Law & Order' spin-off.

Ahead of the premiere of Law & Order: Organized Crime, ET has an exclusive first look at Christopher Meloni, Dylan McDermott and the rest of the cast of the new spin-off from Dick Wolf

On the NBC crime drama, which debuts Thursday, April 1, Meloni reprises his role as Elliot Stabler, who returns to the NYPD to take on Manhattan’s most powerful crime organizations as he rebuilds his life following a devastating personal loss. 

Chris Meloni as Elliot Stabler - Will Hart/NBC

Meloni is joined by Dylan McDermott as Richard Wheatley, Nick Creegan as Richie, Danielle Moné Truitt as Sergeant Ayanna Bell, with Tamara Taylor and Ainsley Seiger rounding out the cast.

Dylan McDermott as Richard Wheatley and Nick Creegan as Richie - Virginia Sherwood/NBC
Danielle Moné Truitt as Sergeant Ayanna Bell - Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Before the first episode, “What Happens in Puglia,” Stabler makes his anticipated return to the Law & Order universe by reuniting with Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) on Special Victims Unit during a two-hour crossover event

Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson - Virginia Sherwood/NBC

It’ll also mark Meloni’s first time playing Stabler in a decade, after his sudden exit from SVU in season 12. While fans have long hoped he would return to the series, it wasn’t until now that he said it felt right to step back into the detective’s shoes.

“A certain piece just fell into place,” Meloni told ET. “For me, there were just personal things that I was like, ‘You know, now is a good time.’ That was it. There was nothing secret. It just was effortlessly correct.” 

He added that it’s so rare to have such clarity about a project. “It's one of these [things where] I felt like I believed in the stars and all that… I’d go, ‘Oh, the stars are telling me you know but because it was just right.’” 

Despite nearly a decade apart, Meloni and Hargitay have picked up where they left off. “We’ve said it’s like we don’t have this relationship with anyone else,” the actor said. “It’s unique, it’s full of laughter, she’s full of love. We just kind of fall seamlessly into that place every time we see each other.”

The actor concluded by saying, “[SVU] gave birth to Mariska and Meloni, and Benson and Stabler. So we’re kind of inextricably linked and connected in that way.”

Law & Order: Organized Crime premieres Thursday, April 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.