As Law And Order: Organized Crime Officially Moves To Peacock, Could Season 5 Go Full Breaking Bad?

 Christopher Meloni as Elliot Stabler in Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 4x05.
Christopher Meloni as Elliot Stabler in Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 4x05.

More than a month after the other shows in the franchise were renewed for the 2024-2025 TV schedule, Law & Order: Organized Crime has finally been confirmed to return for Season 5. That said, Christopher Meloni's drama won't return to NBC, but make the move to Peacock to becoming a streaming original. While it remains to be seen what NBC will do with Organized Crime's Thursday night time slot, the move to Peacock combined with other details of the renewal leave me wondering if OC is on the verge of going full Breaking Bad.

Law & Order: Organized Crime Officially Renewed

Law & Order: Organized Crime will debut its fifth season exclusively streaming for fans with Peacock Premium subscriptions, with all four current seasons so far already available on the platform. As expected, Christopher Meloni will be back as Elliot Stabler. The press release from Peacock did not confirm who else will be back for Season 5.

It did confirm that former Breaking Bad producer/writer/director John Shiban will return for a second season as showrunner, which wouldn't be remarkable for just about any show other than Law & Order: Organized Crime. The SVU spinoff has had more showrunners than seasons, as he was the sixth to take the gig.

At the time of writing, there's no sign that OC will have to make massive story changes to move from NBC to Peacock, but there are potential perks on streaming that definitely had me thinking about what Shiban and Co. could pull off on the new platform.

Could Season 5 Go Full Breaking Bad?

If you ask me, Organized Crime felt different from the jump in Season 4, with Danielle Moné Truitt sharing what changed and what didn't with Shiban's arrival. And I don't just mean the change to the status quo with the reveal of Jet and Reyes' affair, either! The show has been no less dark than previous seasons, but the balance this time around is such that the humor hits better. Breaking Bad alum Dean Norris even described the Stabler family scenes as "quintessential kind of John Shiban-type thing."

There's no reason to believe that Shiban will take the show in a completely different direction in Season 5, and it's possible that moving to streaming could free the show up to try some things that weren't possible on broadcast network television, even in the 10 p.m. ET time slot. I'm not expecting Elliot Stabler to find his own Heisenberg persona and go full Walter White in Season 5, but it would be fun if somebody on OC could drop the occasional F-bomb like Breaking Bad did back in the day and get more gruesome than what flies on NBC.

I can also imagine the show becoming even more serialized, perhaps with longer arcs, as soon as the traditional rating system doesn't apply anymore. And who knows? Maybe Dean Norris could be the first of many Breaking Bad actors to join. I know I'd love to see Organized Crime keep leaning on dark humor, because what Breaking Bad fan can't quote some of the funniest parts of the AMC series to go along with the drama? (I'm partial to Jesse Pinkman's "This is my own private domicile and I will not be harassed... BITCH!" from Season 3 myself.)

All in all, we'll have to wait and see if Organized Crime has some new freedoms with episodes releasing on Peacock rather than airing on NBC first. There's not really precedent for this at this point, although there are certainly shows on Peacock that include the kinds of language that can't air on broadcast network TV. For now, you can find the remaining episodes of Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 4 in the 2024 TV schedule on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.