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NBC reveals return dates for Law & Order: SVU and Law and Order: Organized Crime

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

Fans finally know when Law & Order’s Thursday block begins this fall…only it’s not what’s expected.

NBC has released their fall schedule that gives the returning dates for both Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime. However, the network has chosen to pass on the planned For The Defense spin-off.

Law & Order Thursdays are changed

Once, it was accepted that there were at least three Law & Order series on TV at a time. 

The “mothership” of Law & Order was the big one that ended in 2010 and was replaced by the short-lived Law & Order: Los Angeles series. 

There was also Law & Order: Criminal Intent running for a decade from 2001 to 2011. There were also the short-lived spin-offs, Trial by Jury and Conviction.

From 2011 to 2021, SVU was the only Law & Order series around, doing well in the ratings and dominating attention. 

That finally ended in the spring of 2021 when Christopher Meloni returned as Eliott Stabler to star in the hit Law & Order: Organized Crime spin-off. 

In May, NBC renewed Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime and ordered For The Defense, a new spin-off focusing on a defense firm trying to acquit criminals. 

This would have meant a Law & Order Thursday block much like the One Chicago block of Wednesday. But the new schedule is different than anticipated.

The returns of Law & Order

Ice T and Mariska Hargitay on Law and Order SVU
Ice-T and Mariska Hargitay on Law and Order: SVU. Pic credit: NBC

In a major surprise, NBC has decided not to go ahead with For The Defense. The reasons behind that decision have yet to be revealed, but it does change the planned Law & Order Thursday block.

Law & Order: SVU will now return on September 23rd, with a two-hour episode. It will be followed by the Season 2 premiere of Law & Order: Organized Crime. There is no word on whether the following weeks will have fresh Law & Order episodes or reruns of other NBC series in the open timeslot.

They will be joined on October 21st by The Blacklist. The James Spader crime drama will be moving from its longtime Friday slot for its ninth season to anchor the evening.

This is a shift for viewers expecting a Law & Order block to highlight the week. While there are reports that Dick Wolf is trying to develop another spin-off, that wouldn’t make it to air until at least spring. 

Law & Order: Organized Crime will continue the fallout of Stabler investigating a criminal conspiracy and hints it may involve a new case. Law & Order: SVU is expected to continue the usual “ripped from the headlines” cases and preparing for its landmark 500th episode.

While the night isn’t what fans expected, at least they can enjoy two L&O shows making their returns to spark up the week for NBC.

Law & Order SVU Season 23 and Law & Order Organized Crime Season 2 both premiere on Thursday, September 23, at 8/7c on NBC. 

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