‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’: Ilene Chaiken Out as Showrunner After 14 Months

by Megan Molseed

Some big changes are coming to one of our favorite Law & Order installments. According to a Deadline report, Dick Wolf’s hit NBC drama series Law & Order: Organized Crime will be getting a new showrunner in the coming weeks as the show’s original showrunner and executive producer, Ilene Chaiken leaves the series.

Chaiken will be replaced by Barry O’Brien. O’Brien joined the series as co-executive producer last fall. Barry O’Brien’s work as Law & Order: Organized Crime’s newest producer and showrunner will begin in the coming weeks; with O’Brien finishing out the last half of Organized Crime’s second season.

‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’s’ Behind-the-Scenes Changes

Ilene Chaiken has been serving as the producer and showrunner for the most recent Law & Order spin-off. And, Law & Order creator Dick Wolf notes, she did a wonderful job launching the series into the successful franchise installment it has become over the last year.

“Ilene did a terrific job launching the series and is a gifted writer,” Dick Wolf says of Chaiken.

“She leaves the show in good hands,” Wolf continues. “And we are incredibly grateful for her contributions.”

This change to the popular Law & Order series isn’t predicted to affect the production of the series. However, there are five episodes left to go in the show’s second season. All of which Barry O’Brien will be credited as producer.

‘Organized Crime’ Showrunners Have Some Impressive Credentials

Ilene Chaiken began her stint as Law & Order: Organized Crime’s producer and showrunner in 2020 when she took the role on from Organized Crime’s original showrunner, Matt Olmstead. The producer now plans on focusing on developing a variety of projects under her deal with Universal Television. Before taking on her showrunner role on Law & Order, Chaiken ran the hit Fox series Empire for three and a half seasons.

Chaiken is also the mind behind some major shows such as Showtime’s The L Word. The showrunner is now gearing up to serve as the executive producer for The L Word series reboot, The L Word: Generation Q.

Previous to taking on his new role as Law & Order: Organized Crime, Barry O’Brien is no stranger to the role. O’Brien has served as executive producer on a variety of shows including NBC’s Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector. O’Brien also served as showrunner for CBS’s Miami, Castle, and The Following.

Law & Order: Organized Crime hit airwaves late last year and fans couldn’t get enough. The latest installation to Dick Wolf’s Law & Order franchise, Organized Crime brought us the return on one of our favorite players in the franchise: Christopher Meloni’s Detective Elliot Stabler.

The popular series returned to the air this week after a brief winter hiatus at the beginning of the year. Organized Crime is part of the popular Law & Order Thursday night NBC lineup which also includes the hit series Law & Order: SVU, and, most recently, the revival of the OG series Law & Order.