Law & Order showrunners say more crossovers in store for next season

Law & Order
Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay in Law & Order: SVU. Pic credit: NBC

If NBC’s plans fan out, then fans can expect a lot more Law & Order crossovers next year. 

With the new Organized Crime series a success and the For the Defense spin-off joining SVU next fall, NBC will have a full-on Law & Order night. 

That will mean more crossovers between those three shows. It can also open the door to more appearances by L&O stars on NBC’s hit Chicago shows and even CBS’s FBI programs.

The Law & Order crossover appeal

There was a time when NBC did crossovers between the original Law & Order and SVU. It was mostly a cop from one appearing on the other while Sam Watterson would appear on both shows as Jack McCoy.

The short-lived Trial By Jury spin-off would have crossovers featuring the conclusion to a case that began on SVU. That faded when SVU was the only series in the franchise.

It returned with Organized Crime bringing back Christoper Meloni as Eliott Stabler. An SVU episode had Stabler and Benson (Mariska Hargitay) reuniting when Stabler’s wife was murdered.

Throughout the first season of OC, Benson would drop by to help her partner. The season finale of SVU also had Stabler showing up as a guest for Finn’s planned wedding.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, OC showrunner Ilene Chalkin made it clear there are plans for more crossovers with both SVU and For the Defense when the shows all share Thursday nights this fall. 

We will certainly do more crossovers. We’re now part of an entire night of Law & Order. It offers us a lot of opportunities to intersect our stories. There’s no set number, no formula for it. And yes, I learned a lot about the complexities of doing a crossover and doing them successfully. One of the things I think will work better for us in this upcoming season is that our shows are all starting at the same time. We will be more or less on the same schedule. So we’ll be able to coordinate better and plan these events better. 

It helps that NBC knows how to make these connected series work thanks to the success of their Chicago shows. These may pave the way for further crossovers of the two franchises.

L&O meets Chicago?

Jay Halstead, LaRoyce Hawkins as Kevin Atwater, Patrick John Flueger as Adam Ruzek. Pic credit: Lori Allen/NBC

While it hasn’t happened as much as fans wanted, it’s established that Law & Order takes place in the same universe as Chicago Fire/PD/Med.

There has been a crossover with Benson coming to Chicago to help on a case. Additionally, Peter Stone (Phillip Winchester) went from the short-lived Chicago Justice to SVU’s ADA.

That means there could be other crossovers planned. It’s not just the fans who want them, as Kelli Giddish shared with Cinemablend how she would enjoy seeing her Amanda Rollins appearing on another Dick Wolf show. 

Yes, yes. [laughs] Just yes. I think it’s a really exciting possibility that these worlds can all interchange. The reality that Dick Wolf has built is that Rollins could go into FBI or onto the OC and not skip a beat. I think that is, in the basis of words, it’s really cool. I said that to Dick as well, and I’m not surprised he’s done it, but I’m flabbergasted that he’s been able to actually make that possible and believable. And kind of an exciting opportunity.

Giddish’s words are echoed by Chicago PD’s Marina Squerciati (cop Kim Burgess), who also told Cinemablend, “I am interested and available to do all the crossovers they want me to do. [laughs] Those are fun. They’re just fun, fun to go to New York and be a part of a different world. But yeah, it just keeps growing. It’s amazing.”

The more intriguing idea is that it’s not just NBC shows that the L&O universe can crossover with. 

NBC-CBS partnership?

Tracy Spiridakos as Hailey Upton and Zeeko Zaki as Special Agent Omar Adom ‘OA’ Zidan on FBI cast. Pic credit: CBS

When Wolf began producing FBI for CBS, it was assumed the series existed in its own universe. To the surprise of fans, Chicago PD’s Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) appeared for a few episodes in the show’s second season, establishing they share a world with the NBC Chicago shows and thus Law & Order. 

Navigating a crossover between two networks is tricky, but FBI: Most Wanted showrunner David Hudgins shared with Cinemablend how he’d love to work in an episode of his fugitive-hunting squad teaming with the Chicago cops. 

Wow, that’s a good question. I mean, you could see this team in Chicago with any of those people, right? That’s the immediate one that comes to mind. I mean, really, any of them. That’s kind of the beauty of the show. So far, in the vocabulary of the show, the team has tended to keep to the East Coast. But we’ve talked in the writers room many times about there’s no reason why a case couldn’t take them to say California or Oregon or Illinois, or anywhere. But my first answer would be any of the Chicago.

The showrunners of these series have stated a key reason for fewer crossovers has been the limits to filming due to the coronavirus pandemic. With those restrictions expected to be lifted by the time filming begins for the new seasons, the crossover potential is higher.

Yet Wolf himself seems to think such events shouldn’t just be at random but tied to the story itself. 

“We’re going to do it whenever it gives both shows a different way to shine. And obviously, there is a portion of the audience that says, ‘Geez, this is frustrating. Why don’t you just put them both in the same show again?’ It’s not exciting.”

With new spin-offs of FBI and L&O coming this fall, the idea this unique shared “Wolf-Verse” crosses over is another reason for fans to be excited about these series.

Law & Order SVU, Law & Order: Organized Crime, Chicago Fire/PD/Med all streaming on Hulu. FBI & FBI: Most Wanted streaming on Paramount Plus. 

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