(NBC) – A big night on NBC with the return of “Manifest” for season 3 and then the long-awaited homecoming Christopher Meloni back on “Law and Order: SVU” after a decade away and to set up his own spinoff series, “Law and Order: Organized Crime”.

It was a squad room shooting that punctuated Christopher Meloni’s final scene on “SVU” back in 2011.

His character left the series without a goodbye to his long-time partner, Olivia Benson.

But Thurday night, Elliott Stabler returns, something he talked about on “Today.”

“You’ll see him, the growth that he’s gone through, amends that he has to make, issues that he has to grapple with,” said Meloni.

And Stabler learns he has plenty to catch up on.

Mariska Hargitay and Meloni launched “SVU” back in 1999, and as he told Jimmy Fallon, their 12 years spent as partners made his return easier.

“When we got down and cameras were rolling, just locked and loaded, it was such a seamless, effortless endeavor,” Meloni revealed.

But Meloni’s “SVU” appearance sets up his spinoff series which follows, “Law and Order: Organized Crime.”

“It’s me going after the bad guys and finding my footing in this new place, this new world and solving a crime in eight episodes,” explained Meloni.

That’s a new mode of storytelling for the “Law and Order” world, but not everything’s different.

“They got me my old holster, which actually has the capacity to hold a beeper,” said Meloni.

Technology evolves and so does Stabler.

“He’s a finer wine,” joked Meloni.

For vintage “Law and Order.”

“Law and Order: Organized Crime” also co-stars Dylan McDermott and airs tonight on WSAV at 10 p.m. after “SVU” at 9 p.m.