‘Law & Order’s Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni Nearly Kiss on Stage During 2022 Emmys

by Suzanne Halliburton

Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni, the brightest stars of the Law & Order universe, teased fans tuning in to watch the Emmys Monday night.

Who cares if the two catch the criminals each week. Everyone wants to know if they’ll kiss. Ever. Will the two former partners ever become something other than a cop couple?

The two, before they presented an Emmy, gave each other a lingering glance, then leaned in for a kiss. But drat. Meloni broke away to announce the nominees for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. No smooch, fake or otherwise. However, you can make sure to watch on Sept. 22 when Law & Order gives us a three-hour crossover event featuring the OG show, plus SVU and Organized Crime.

And just before Meloni and Hargitay presented one of the most coveted award of the night — Jason Sudeikis won for Ted Lasso — they gave us a Law & Order skit. The two were sitting at their table. Hargitay, aka Olivia Benson, had her feet propped in the lap of Meloni (Elliot Stabler). But suddenly, they were called to catch an Emmy thief.

“Awww c’mon,” Meloni whines in his Stabler character. “Don’t we ever get a night off?” asks Benson. Then Meloni offers to take Hargitay’s lipstick and off they go.

They catch the thief, with Meloni taking custody of the Emmy. “This is pretty cool,” Meloni says of the hardware. Hargitay throws shade, “Oh, I have two.”

Catch this special Law & Order moment below.

The two are married to different people in real life. But the pair are terrific friends. Hargitay and Meloni first started working together in 1999, when Law & Order served up its first spinoff, Law & Order: SVU. Meloni left a dozen years later after he and NBC couldn’t agree on a new contract. But a decade later, Law & Order gave fans another spinoff. Organized Crime was a perfect vehicle for Meloni’s Stabler. He could work undercover and do crazy, impetuous things to corral the worst criminals in the city.

And that allowed Law & Order: SVU and Organized Crime to have a romantic undercurrent. Stabler, the father of five, now was a widower. Benson still was single, although she was a mother to Noah. Would these two ever get together? This past TV season set up the possibility. The Law & Order: SVU season finale even teed up a possible future romance when Olivia’s therapist told her it was OK to pursue happiness in her personal life.

The Emmys honor last season’s best performances. But it also signals the beginning of another network TV season. NBC hosted the awards Monday night. So of course, the network was going to showcase its top stars. Meloni and Hargitay didn’t disappoint. Both actors shared several snaps of the two of them on their quick trip from NYC to LA.

Meloni offered this photo from the beginning of the road trip:

And Hargitay, the queen of the Law & Order universe, said good night with this photo: