As Law & Order: SVU is heading into its historic 21st season, the series is bringing back one of its beloved showrunners. Warren Leight, credited with revitalizing the veteran crime drama during his five-year turn at the helm, is returning as executive producer/showrunner.
He will succeed another veteran of the Dick Wolf drama universe, Michael Chernuchin, who will join Wolf’s CBS series FBI, recently renewed for a second season. Chernuchin has signed a new overall deal with Universal Television, the studio behind all Dick Wolf shows.
Chernuchin will work as executive producer on FBI alongside Rick Eid, who will continue as executive producer/showrunner on both FBI for its upcoming second season and Chicago P.D. for its seventh.
“Nooch has been in the Wolf family for three decades, beginning with the early days of Law & Order, Wolf said. “He is one of the most consistent and versatile writers I have had the pleasure of working with over the years, and his voice will be an integral part of our second season of ‘FBI.’”
On Law & Order: SVU, Leight will work alongside executive producer Julie Martin. Norberto Barba (Law & Order: Criminal Intent) is joining the series starring and exec produced by Mariska Hargitay as the production director/executive producer.
Leight most recently co-created with Wolf Law & Order: Hate Crimes. Leight will continue to shepherd the new spinoff, which remains in development at NBC.
All showrunners are staying put on Wolf’s Chicago franchise. In addition to Eid continuing on Chicago P.D., Derek Haas will continue to as executive producer/showrunner on Chicago Fire season 8, while Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider will continue as executive producers/showrunners for Chicago Med season 5.
Dick Wolf, Arthur W. Forney and Peter Jankowski are executive producers of all shows for Wolf Entertainment.
“We have a ‘murderers’ row’ of writers and showrunners on our shows,” Wolf added. “What they do on a daily and weekly basis is mind-boggling. I’m thrilled that Warren is returning for the historic 21st season of SVU,’and I can’t thank Rick, Derek, Diane, Andy and Nooch enough for turning out smart, compelling and popular television every week.”
Leight joined SVU at the beginning of Season 13 when the drama was at crossroads, having just lost its co-lead Christopher Meloni. He shifted the attention to Hargitay’s Olivia Benson and successfully rebuilt the show around her, giving it a new life. When he left the series in 2016 after five years, Hargitay paid a fond tribute to him, calling him “a very beautiful, empathetic and deeply talented writer.”