(WCMH) – Tonight fans of the “Law & Order” franchise are getting a double dose of criminals and court proceedings with back-to-back premieres of “Special Victims Unit” and “Organized Crime.”
The night begins with two hour-long episodes that will make up the Season 23 premiere of “SVU,” starting at 8 p.m.
The network description of tonight’s installments reads, “As the investigation into a sex-for-housing scheme expands, Benson’s loyalty to Garland is tested. Rollins and Carisi try to keep their witnesses on board when a powerful congressman is identified as a suspect. The search for a missing witness leads Fin and Kat down a dangerous path.”
Although plans for a cross-over episode this season haven’t been revealed, “SVU” star Mariska Hargitay, who plays Olivia Benson, recently commented on the dynamic between the two shows and their lead characters.
“Fans have been with us for so long, 23 years, and 12 of those were with Benson and Stabler,” said Hargitay. “And I think the fans have been waiting a long time for Stabler’s return and we finally gave it to them. So, here we are, Benson and Stabler back together, and I think it’s going to be epic!”
The Stabler character Hargitay mentioned would be Elliot Stabler, played by Christopher Meloni, who left the cast of “SVU” in 2011 and returned last year as the star of “Organized Crime.”
NBC’s description for the Season 2 premiere of “Organized Crime,” which begins at 10 p.m., reads, “After taking down Wheatley’s (Dylan McDermott) drug empire and discovering his wife’s killer, Det. Stabler (Christopher Meloni) must infiltrate a notorious crime family aiming to take over New York City’s cocaine trade. Sgt. Bell (Danielle Mon Truitt) is forced to work with a rival colleague when their investigations collide.”
Meloni recently explained how Season 1’s storyline will transition seamlessly into the show’s next story arc.
“We’re keeping Wheatley, Dylan McDermott’s character from Season 1, just kind of alive and in the neighborhood, because now that he’s on the sideline because he has to go on trial, there’s a vacuum,” said Meolni. “It’s created this vacuum in the illicit drug trade. The Albanians are getting in there and I have to figure out what else have they got their hands into.”
Meloni also caused a mini-sensation and a lot of speculation about the upcoming seasons of “SVU” and “Organized Crime” when he commented at a Television Critics Association panel about a possible Benson and Stabler romance saying, “Hope springs eternal. I mean, why not?”
Watch “Law & Order: SVU” at 8 p.m. tonight followed by “Law & Order: Organized Crime” at 10 p.m. on 22News.