Back in March, Law & Order: SVU fans were treated to news that Christopher Meloni was returning to star as "Det. Elliot Stabler" in a new spin-off series. But today, we've learned there's more to the story: He will also return to the main SVU series in season 22.

So far, we know that he will at least appear in the premiere episode of the upcoming season. Showrunner Warren Leight confirmed the news on a recent episode of the show's behind-the-scenes podcast.

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"It’s pretty clear that Elliot will be in the SVU season opener. I think that much I know," Leight said on the podcast.

He added, in fact, that "Stabler" and his family were scheduled to rejoin the series at the end of season 21. However, those plans were scrapped after the season was cut short due to limitations imposed by the coronavirus outbreak.

For season 22, it's unclear if that same storyline is still in-play, according to Leight. But "Stabler" will make his return. "Whether we'll get to see his family as well remains to be seen," Leight said.

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Christopher Meloni as "Elliot Stabler" once again

It appears as though SVU fans have plenty of "Det. Elliot Stabler" to look forward to in the next few years! His new spin-off series is scheduled for 13 episodes, which will see Meloni's character "head up an organized crime division of the New York Police Department."

Few other details are known about the spin-off at this time, which is thought to still be in the early stages of development.

In Leight's interview, he also stated that plans for SVU season 22 are on hold until it's safe to resume shooting. The production of season 21 was halted three episodes early due to the COVID-19 pandemic back in March.

Meloni last portrayed "Stabler" in 2011, when he exited SVU after season 12.

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