By Lynette Rice
October 02, 2020 at 02:49 PM EDT
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Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

The hits just keep coming: Christopher Meloni's much-anticipated return to the Law & Order franchise has been delayed because of a major change in the writers' room.

EW has confirmed that Matt Olmstead (Chicago Med) will no longer serve as showrunner of Law & Order: Organized Crime. Apparently, it's not so easy to figure out a way to spin off Meloni's beloved L&O character into a series of his own, even though NBC confidently placed a straight-to-series order for Organized Crime back in March. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of Olmstead's departure.

Olmstead remains a respected member of the NBCUniversal talent roster and is expected to pivot to new projects. A replacement showrunner will be announced "when appropriate," says an insider.

NBC was looking to launch the spin-off as early as January 2021 and was even planning to include a little cross-promotion on the season premiere of Special Victims Unit, which first introduced Meloni's Det. Eliot Stabler back in 1999. Production on Organized Crime has yet to begin, nor do we know who will star alongside Meloni.

In July, Meloni and former SVU costar Mariska Hargitay shared photos of an out-of-character mini-reunion on Instagram.

Meloni was written off SVU after 12 seasons. It was explained that his character was retiring, which led to his partner, Benson (Hargitay), heading the whole division. For the spin-off, Meloni told EW recently that "we're going to reintroduce my character, Elliott Stabler, and give the audience the backstory of where he's been, how he's been, and he's going to rejoin the NYPD, but with the organized crime unit."

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