The medical examiner Dr. Melinda Warner has long been a favorite character for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit viewers. The character, played by Tamara Tunie, was once a main cast member and has continued to make several guest appearances on the show. She was last seen in the tense episode “Trick-Rolled at the Moulin,” which aired back in May. Warner is such a beloved character that some fans even hope she could get her own spin-off.
“I’ve been doing [an] SVU rewatch from the beginning and I want a [B.D. Wong’s character] Dr. Huang and Dr. Melinda spin-off series. I would watch that all day every day,” one fan tweeted in July. “Loads of characters from SVU deserve a spin-off, like George, Olivia, Amanda, Melinda, Munch & Alexandra,” another tweeted last year.
Over on Reddit, some fans shared how much they wanted Melinda back as a series regular. “Melinda should’ve had a spin-off at SVU’s peak,” one fan wrote. “Absolutely adore her. Her compassion and her sharpness and her sense of humor. The show needs her back,” another commented.
Melinda was first seen in Season 2 when she was introduced as a recurring character. She was promoted to series regular for Season 7 in 2005 but went back to recurring for Season 13 in 2011. She continued making regular appearances on the show until Season 17. Since then, she has periodically been brought back for guest spots.
It’s not known if Tunie will have time to appear in either Law & Order: SVU or Law & Order: Organized Crime this season since she is working on Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop. She also recently starred in Denzel Washington’s A Journal for Jordan, which will be released on Dec. 22. The film stars Michael B. Jordan as a sergeant who wrote a journal of advice for his infant son while serving in Iraq. Chante Adams and Robert Wisdom also star in the movie.
While it would be cool to see Tunie more often on SVU, fans have been more preoccupied with Det. Elliot Stabler and Capt. Olivia Benson’s relationship going forward. Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay teased fans with a photo of the two coming close to kissing. Meloni returned to the franchise after a 10-year absense earlier this year to lead Organized Crime, and made several appearances on SVU throughout the season. Both shows return on NBC Thursday, Sept. 23.