EXCLUSIVE: There is a change at the helm of Dick Wolf’s NBC drama Law & Order: Organized Crime. Ilene Chaiken is out after a 14-month stint as executive producer/showrunner of the Law & Order spinoff starring Chris Meloni. She is being replaced by Barry O’Brien, who will serve as showrunner for the remainder of the series’ second season. He joined Organized Crime as co-executive producer in November.
“Ilene did a terrific job launching the series and is a gifted writer,” Wolf said. “She leaves the show in good hands and we are incredibly grateful for her contributions.”
The showrunner change is not impacting production on Law & Order: Organized Crime, which has five more episodes to film from its current second season.
In Organized Crime, from Dick Wolf’s Wolf Entertainment and Universal Television, Law & Order: SVU alum Meloni reprises his role as Elliot Stabler, who is back at NYPD battling organized crime as member of the Organized Crime Task Force. The offshoot is a departure from the Law & Order procedural format with serialized arcs. Likely impacted by that, it is the lowest rated in total viewers among Wolf’s nine broadcast series.
After a winter hiatus, Law & Order: Organized Crime returned to the air last night as part of a Law & Order Thursday lineup on NBC that also includes Law & Order: SVU and the revival of the mothership Law & Order.
Chaiken took the reins of Law & Order: Organized Crime in December 2020 as part of an overall deal with Universal Television. She succeeded the series’ original showrunner Matt Olmstead.
Chaiken will now focus on development under her overall deal. She previously ran Fox’s Empire for the series’ first 3 1/2 seasons. She created and executive produced Showtime’s The L Word and serves as an executive producer on the reboot, The L Word: Generation Q.
Dick Wolf executive produces Law & Order: Organized Crime with Terry Miller, John Polson, Arthur W. Forney and Peter Jankowski.
O’Brien most recently served as executive producer on NBC’s Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector. His credits also include CBS: Miami, Castle and The Following.