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'Law & Order' spinoff with Christopher Meloni postponed until 2021

It's not the only NBC series to be delayed into the new year.
/ Source: TODAY

Fans of Christopher Meloni and his upcoming "Law & Order: SVU" spinoff series "Law & Order: Organized Crime" are going to have to do a little more hard time.

That's because "Organized Crime," originally expected to launch this fall, has been postponed until 2021 for a premiere, according to NBC.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Christopher Meloni will return as Elliot Stabler ... just not in 2020.Chris Haston/NBC

But it's not personal; though there are no specifics as to why the show is being delayed, there's a good chance it's related to the industrywide lockdown during the height of the COVID-19 quarantine that prevented any shows from filming. Some shows have begun to film again (like "Law & Order: SVU," which at this point is still slated for a Nov. 12 return), but not everything has gotten underway.

In July, Meloni noted on Sirius XM's "The Jess Cagle Show" that "pandemic production" means everything moves on a different schedule. "You know, everything is just insane. You have to service a lot of masters right now, just to make sure everybody is safe, right? What's the new norm for shooting?

"So that is the long way of saying the writers are breaking rocks, trying to figure out the arc of the story, who the characters are and how they interact, and I have yet to see a script."

In addition to "Organized Crime," NBC has delayed other new series' premieres, including "Kenan," "Mr. Mayor," "That's My Jam," "Small Fortune," "True Story," "Who Do You Think You Are?" and "Young Rock."

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Fans are also gonna have to wait for Meloni to hang out on camera with Mariska Hargitay (Olivia Benson) again.NBC

We are still expecting that Meloni will make some appearances in the early episodes of "SVU's" season 22 (and Hargitay on "Organized Crime"), but that hasn't been reconfirmed in light of his series' delay. Thirteen episodes of the series have been ordered, and are expected to air Thursdays at 10 p.m., directly after "SVU."

"Organized Crime" is set to focus on the return of former Detective Elliot Stabler (Meloni), who worked alongside Olivia Benson in the New York Special Victims Unit on "SVU." Meloni appeared on the show from its start in 1999 until 2011, then left to appear on shows like "Happy!" and "The Handmaid's Tale."

Meanwhile, "SVU" appears to be on schedule and up and running. In response to a fan question, showrunner Warren Leight commented in a tweet on Monday that they're not necessarily going to tie up loose threads left at the end of season 21, in part because of the way the country has shifted.

"A lot has happened since we shut down, in New York, and in our country," he wrote. "First few eps will see our squad grappling with many of the losses and changes and challenges we're all going through at this moment."

In other words, the investigation is still ongoing.