Premiering on September 13, 1990, the drama series Law & Order gained such a following and success that even creator Dick Wolf had no idea how big the show would become. With 21 seasons and over 460 episodes, the Law & Order franchise paved the way for spin-off shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Law & Order: Organized Crime. Not to mention the television film. And with the franchise continuing to entertain people all over the world, for the first time in history, all three of Dick Wolf’s NBC series will appear on the same screen in a crossover event. The crossover includes characters from Law & Order, Law & Order: Organized Crime, and Law & Order: SVU. Although a massive undertaking, showrunner Bryan Goluboff discussed writing for characters like Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson.
Ahead of the premiere in September, Bryan Goluboff, the showrunner for Law & Order: Organized Crime, spoke with Fangirlish about what to expect between Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson. Nicknaming them Bensler, Goluboff said, “It’s a loyal, passionate fanbase, and I want to respect their investment in these people. And so, we’re going to try and have the shows have some synchronicity.” He noted it was “tricky because you’re also existing in your own timelines and your own cases.”
Creating The Law & Order Crossover While Staying True To The Characters
Just giving a glimpse into the process that goes into writing the crossover, Goluboff added, “I’ll give you a great example. I’m starting to build in a crossover, and I’m able to call over and go, ‘what’s going on in Olivia’s life? If we’re going to do this…what’s happening – what’s happening in your universe that I can carry over?”
He continued on the importance of capturing the partnership between Stabler and Benson. The showrunner admitted, “When they’re activated, and they have a monster to fight, it’s what attracts me to them. It’s having them activated against a real enemy, that we need protection from. Because, to me, that’s what worked about SVU for 12 years. It was, someone was hurt. And Olivia was Mommy, and she was going to believe you and talk to you. And he was Daddy, and he was going to go out, and find that guy, and kick his ass.”
As for both characters and their individual teams on Law & Order, Goluboff noted the difference between how they react. For Olivia, she “has to be strong for her squad. She can’t show a lot of cracks.” And for Elliot, he “has to be the same for his. And he’s mentoring some people this season. They can collapse with each other — they can say, ‘this is hard, man.’ They don’t have to be…They can let their guard down with each other and have each other’s backs.”