According to multiple reports, Matt Olmstead has stepped down as writer-showrunner of the series, which would see Stabler—a character Meloni originated on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit opposite Meloni’s real-life pal Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson—overseeing New York City’s organized crime division. Producers of the series reportedly wanted to take some extra care with the new spinoff, given the recent protests over police brutality. It had yet to begin production.
Though Olmstead’s exit delays the show, reports claim it is still on schedule for the 2020-2021 season.
Meloni left SVU after the season 12 finale in 2011, with the characters learning in the season 13 premiere that Stabler decided to retire following a shooting in the police station. He has not returned to the series since.