Christopher Meloni Had No Idea 'Law & Order' Fans Still Loved Stabler As Much As They Did

Christopher Meloni is a little shocked that Law & Order viewers are really excited about Elliot Stabler’s return.

The 59-year-old actor is set to return as the iconic detective in a new spinoff titled Organized Crime, which premieres next Thursday, April 1.

“I have felt nothing but goodwill and anticipation and I am so humbled and shocked by it,” Christopher shared during his appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon this week. “I just had no idea. I didn’t realize the character and the show resonated so deeply with people. It’s very sweet.”

Law & Order: Organized Crime centers on Stabler as he returns to the NYPD to battle organized crime after a devastating personal loss. However, the city and police department have changed dramatically in the decade he’s been away, and he must adapt to a criminal justice system in the midst of its own moment of reckoning.

Christopher also opened up about reunited with his SVU castmates, who he starred with for years before leaving the franchise.

“It’s such a cliché … I got on the stage of the SVU set and it has changed. They have different actors and it’s not my house, it’s not my place, so I had no connection. But as soon as I got to act with Mariska [Hargitay], it was like yesterday,” he says.

“We know each other and mess around socially and all that, but when we got down and cameras were rolling … it was such a seamless, effortless endeavour. It was great.”

Here’s one of the teasers for his return:

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