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Mariska Hargitay teases Chris Meloni's 'SVU' return with Zoom photo

He's back! Well, he's on Zoom. Close enough for now!
/ Source: TODAY

Christopher Meloni is one step closer to returning to the "Law & Order: SVU" universe, and fans couldn't be more excited.

Nor could his onetime castmate Mariska Hargitay, who posted on Instagram and Twitter a screen capture of a recent show script table reading featuring one Mr. Meloni:

"Well...that happened..." she wrote in the caption on Wednesday. (If you're looking for Meloni in the image, he's at the top right in a green shirt.)

In two similar tweets, showrunner Warren Leight also posted a Zoom collage of familiar faces:

"Scattered around this @NBCSVU zoom screen grab: our fantastic west coast editors, our incomparable @SVUWritersRoom, our insanely adroit #SVU22 squad, New York's hardest working producing team, and the guy who started it all (top row, middle) Oh, and @Mariska and @Chris_Meloni," he wrote.

"The guy who started it all," by the way, is franchise creator Dick Wolf.

Hargitay retweeted Leight's comments, noting, "At last...... I love bright colors...," which seems to refer to Meloni's virtually glowing shirt.

Christopher Meloni (Det. Elliot Stabler) and Mariska Hargitay (Det. Olivia Benson) on "Law & Order: SVU" in 2012.NBC

Hargitay and Meloni played Detectives Benson and Stabler on the long-running NBC series from 1999 to 2011 and became big fan favorites; he departed to pursue other roles, while she stayed with the series and Benson became the longest-running prime-time female character of all time. And throughout, the pair have been good friends.

But as fans know well, Stabler and Meloni are returning for "Law & Order: Organized Crime," a show where he'll be the star. The series was meant to have premiered this fall, but COVID restrictions delayed it until 2021. Meanwhile, Leight mentioned in September that Stabler would pop up on "SVU" as part of a crossover, presumably to reintroduce the character and actor to fans who signed on after 2011 (and never watched reruns). (In July, Meloni confirmed Hargitay would also appear on "Organized Crime.")

It's a totally arresting story, and we can't wait for the next chapter! Dun-dun!

Think you know your "Law & Order: SVU" trivia? Check out our exclusive TODAY quiz!