Mariska Hargitay welcomes Christopher Meloni 'home' after Law & Order SVU spinoff news
Mariska Hargitay has welcomed Christopher Meloni "home" after the news he is set to reprise his role as Eliot Stabler for a Law & Order: SVU spin-off.
The actress - who starred alongside Meloni for the first 12 seasons of the crime drama - took to Instagram on Thursday to send him birthday wishes.
"Happy Birthday @chris_meloni Congratulations and welcome home Elliot Stabler," she wrote alongside a behind-the-scenes photo of the two of them, adding: "#It’sBeenAWhile #MissedYou #ElliotStabler"
Earlier this week, it emerged that Meloni was set to reprise his role as Stabler - almost 10 years after he left SVU.
His character was written off at the start of season 13, when Stabler made the decision to retire from the force.
Deadline report that the series - which will be based in New York - will see Stabler lead a unit in the NYPD's organised crime unit. NBC has given the currently-untitled crime drama a 13-episode order.
And we'll admit it: we're keeping our fingers crossed that there will be some kind of crossover with SVU. We would love for an on-screen Benson and Stabler reunion - and they are both based in New York, after all...
Showrunner Warren Leight previously spoke to E! about the possibility of Meloni returning to SVU - and it looks like it's good news for fans (especially with the new series confirmed).
"It's interesting to me. As long as the show is running, I feel like we will—someday, I would hope to see him again," he said, ahead of Law & Order: SVU's 21st season premiere.
"I don't know how, I don't know when, but, yeah, that's kind of, I think the fans and Benson and Stabler are owed that."