Law & Order: SVU, like many nighttime series, had an abbreviated season earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, which caused production to shut down. Viewers were left hanging about the People v. Sir Toby. Now real events from this summer will come into play as ‘ripped from the headlines’ takes on even more importance.
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Sir Toby, played by Ian McShane (Dallas; Deadwood), first appeared in the episode titled I’m Going to Make You A Star. The character, a media mogul, raped women and then paid them off to buy their silence. He was brought up on charges when one woman refused to back down. He suffered a heart attack, however, before a verdict could be read.
Law & Order: SVU is known to base characters on the show on real-life individuals. Many drew parallels between Sir Toby and film producer Harvey Weinstein, who was convicted in March of this year of sexually assaulting women in 2006 and 2013.
“With the premiere of @OrganizedCrime not coming til 2021, I wonder if the #SVU22 premiere will pick up with the trial of Sir Toby?” asked @laura_navins on Twitter, adding the tags: “@Mariska #IanMcShane @warrenleightTV @JulieMartinSVU @SVUWritersRoom @nbcsvu #svu.”
“I can answer this… no it won’t,” showrunner Warren Leight posted in response. “A lot has happened since we shut down, in New York, and in our country. First few eps will see our squad grappling with many of the losses and changes and challenges we’re all going through at this moment.”
You can also expect Meloni’s show to deal with the changes brought on by this summer’s social injustice protests as well. According to the NBC description of the show, “Elliot Stabler returns to the NYPD to battle organized crime after a devastating personal loss,” it begins. “However, the city and police department have changed dramatically in the decade he’s been away, and he must adapt to a criminal justice system in the midst of its own moment of reckoning.”
Season 22 of Law and Order: SVU will premiere on Thursday, November 12 at 9 p.m. The highly anticipated return of Chris Meloni, who is reprising his role as Elliot Stabler in the series Law & Order: Organized Crime, is set to reunite with Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia the night of the premiere, but since his new series won’t debut until 2021, fans will have to wait a little longer.
Of course, because of COVID-19, situations remain fluid. “These days all plans are subject to change,” Leight posted on Twitter. “And then they change again. And again. For now, we won’t reintroduce Stabler until the night of his Organized Crime premiere.”
I can answer this… no it won't. A lot has happened since we shut down, in New York, and in our country. First few eps will see our squad grappling with many of the losses and changes and challenges we're all going through at this moment. https://t.co/zmGbM6pNoe
— Warren Leight (@warrenleightTV) September 1, 2020
These days all plans are subject to change. And then they change again. And again. For now, we won't reintroduce Stabler until the night of his Organized Crime premiere. @SVUWritersRoom has to be NIMBLE this year. https://t.co/khZoQXE3mB
— Warren Leight (@warrenleightTV) August 27, 2020