Law & Order Spinoff Starring Christopher Meloni Delayed at NBC as Showrunner Exits: Report

The Law & Order spinoff starring Christopher Meloni has reportedly been delayed.

Meloni, who starred as Detective Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: SVU and is set to reprise his role in the new Organized Crime franchise of the show, is being pushed back amid a change in showrunners, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Matt Olmstead, who formerly had a four-year run with Wolf Entertainment and inked a three-year overall deal to return to Universal TV, is exiting the series, the outlet reports.

Though it was previously announced that Organized Crime would be airing Thursdays at 10 p.m. this fall —  following Law & Order: SVU — a premiere date has not been announced. According to THR, it is still slated to air in the 2020-21 broadcast season.

Reps for NBC and Dick Wolf Productions did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

News of Meloni's return to the beloved franchise broke in March. The series, which has received a 13-episode order, will follow Stabler as he returns to the NYPD to battle organized crime after suffering a "devastating personal loss" of his own, NBC announced in June.

As Stabler swings into action, he will have to adapt to how much the times have changed since he left the force a decade ago. Fans will get to follow Stabler's journey to "find absolution and rebuild his life, while leading a new elite task force that is taking apart the city's most powerful criminal syndicates one by one," according to NBC.

Stabler and his new role with the force will be introduced in the season 22 premiere of SVU, reuniting him with his former costar Mariska Hargitay, who plays detective Olivia Benson. Meloni has also confirmed that Hargitay will appear on his spinoff.

Meloni was an original cast member when the SVU franchise premiered in September 1999, and his chemistry with Hargitay helped turn the show into an instant hit. After he left in 2011 when contract negotiations broke down, his character was written off the show in the season 12 finale as he retired from the police force.

At the end of July, Meloni said that he had yet to see a script for the spinoff series.

During an appearance on SiriusXM's The Jess Cagle Show, Meloni gave an update on the project, which was in flux amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

"We're in the middle of a pandemic production. You know, everything is just insane," he said. "You get new edicts out of New York City and New York state, and for good reason. And then you get new rules and regulations coming out of Universal, and then from the unions. You have to service a lot of masters right now, just to make sure everybody is safe, right? What's the new norm for shooting?"

"So that is the long way of saying the writers are breaking rocks, trying to figure out the arc of the story, who the characters are and how they interact, and I have yet to see a script," he said, jokingly adding, "I'm working on my tan, okay?"

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