Law & Order: Organized Crime has been in the works for months, and after the show's loss of multiple key staff, one report says that the cast and crew of the program are getting antsy about their future. Considering the fact that Organized Crime is currently without a showrunner and how important Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni's SVU reunion is to fans, it's a serious topic. Here's what's going on.
"SVU Drama! Trouble On Set" says the latest issue of Star. The magazine reports that while fans of Law & Order: SVU might still be buzzing about the long-awaited spinoff that would reunite Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni, an insider tells the outlet that the show has been "rocked by behind-the-scenes drama" that could seriously impact production. An anonymous insider says,
No one knows what's going to happen. Jobs could be cut and cast could be written out.
The drama, it seems, revolves primarily around the shifting position of showrunner. “First, showrunner Craig Gore was axed in June for comments he made during the LA protests,” the magazine says. The next departure was his replacement, Matt Olmstead, who also served as showrunner for Stumptown, Chicago Fire, and Chicago P.D. for a number of years.
Olmstead stepped away from the position at the beginning of this month, leading to the allegedly precarious state of Organized Crime. "Chris and Mariska are pretty sure they'll be OK," the tipster concludes. "They have so much fun when they're together and are really upset about the delay."
As Deadline noted when it reported on the news of Olmstead’s exit, this isn’t exactly a shocking development for a Dick Wolf production. FBI: Most Wanted had five names listed as showrunner at various points in its early production and first season, and it got yet another new showrunner for its second season. The show’s doing just fine, and despite cutting its second season short for pandemic-related reasons, was renewed for a third. SVU itself swapped showrunners between its first and second season.
And that's the biggest piece missing from this report. Like every single show or movie happening right now, the coronavirus is drastically impacting every aspect of production. That's the thing generating concern — not a relatively common change of execs. There are a few other serious reasons to doubt the veracity of this “insider.” Yes, show productions can see job and casting cuts, and yes, Hargitay and Meloni are essentially untouchable as far as cost-cutting goes, but the rest of the source’s insights are bunk.
For one, Craig Gore was attached to the show as a co-executive producer, so calling him the primary showrunner is a bit of a stretch. Considering the fact that he was removed for his inflammatory comments following protests about police brutality, an extremely important concern for a show about the police, it came as no surprise that he was cut from the staff.
An actual, trustworthy source, Deadline, reports that the show has been delayed specifically for producers “to take extra time crafting the new series.” Given the seriousness of the subject matter and the expectations around Meloni’s return to the franchise, this should come as no surprise.
This tabloid's television "insiders" have proven to be bunk before. Star previously reported that there was a ton of behind-the-scenes drama between America's Got Talent judges. Before that, its sources were sure that pop star Miley Cyrus would join the second season of The Hills: New Beginnings. Neither of these stories ultimately had any legitimate insight into the shows, and this Organized Crime rumor seems just as flimsy.
Gossip Cop can’t say for sure, but this is most likely false, given the evidence.