Joining the cast of “Law & Order: SVU” is no small job.
The “Law & Order” franchise has been a massive powerhouse since the original aired in 1990. Since then, the show has seen a number of spin-offs, interesting new characters, and developing plot lines.
For example, Mariska Hargitay, or Captain Olivia Benson on “SVU,” is the longest-running actor in a live-action primetime series. She’s been on the show for all 22 seasons and counting.
Her former co-star, Christopher Meloni, played Detective Elliott Stabler on “Law & Order: SVU” starting in 1999. But unlike Hargitay, the actor took an extended 10-year hiatus from the franchise. He was also playing a criminal named Chris Keller on the HBO show “Oz” at the same time. This program ended in 2003. As for his gun-wielding, crime-solving “SVU” character, Meloni parted ways in 2011.
Apparently, he was unable to agree on a contract. He did not return after season 12. His character put in retirement papers on the show and that’s how he was written out of the storyline.
It’s been a decade since we’ve seen Meloni’s piercing blue eyes staring down the evil of New York City. However, he has since reprised his role in a brand-new spin-off series, “Law & Order: Organized Crime.” What did he spend his time doing during that massive 10-year hiatus from the popular crime series franchise?
Christoper Meloni Outside of ‘Law & Order: SVU’
When he wasn’t solving crime in New York City, Christopher Meloni was still in a variety of movies and TV shows.
One of his most popular roles was as a character in the DC universe. He played Colonel Nathan Hardy in “Man of Steel,” one of the recent Superman movies from 2013.
He also had roles in other films like “Awful Nice,” “42,” “Small Time,” “They Came Together,” “Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay,” and “White Bird in a Blizzard.”
It seems like Christopher Meloni’s time on “Law & Order: SVU,” kept him close to TV roles even after his departure. One of his first TV roles after leaving the series was in a guest star role in “True Blood” in 2012.
He also had a long appearance on another show, “Surviving Jack,” in 2014. Meloni also became attached to the “Wet Hot American Summer” franchise as Jonas/Gene. He first starred in the cult classic in 2001. But in 2015, he reprised the role for “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp,” a sequel series. He also returned two years later for “Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later.”
Some of his other TV roles over the past few years include “Happy!” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Harley Quinn,” and “Maxxx.”
“Law & Order: Organized Crime” started off incredibly strong in ratings and viewers. It had 8.35 million viewers and a 1.7 rating. It is the seventh series in the “Law & Order” franchise