Good news for all you Law & Order SVU fans: NBC has renewed the drama for three more seasons! This move will make the beloved procedural the longest-running American primetime drama of all time. For all the details on what the next three seasons will hold in store, read on!
Law & Order: SVU: Three New Seasons, Breaking World Records
Some TV shows are simply too good to end! On Thursday, February 26, NBC announced they had renewed Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, better known as Law & Order: SVU, for three more seasons. That will bring the show’s total to a record-breaking 24 seasons! When SVU begins its next season, it will become the longest-running primetime drama, surpassing the ionic western Gunsmoke, which ran from 1955 to 1975. Meanwhile, creator Dick Wolf started Law & Order: SVU in 1999, and it continues to look unstoppable!
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with [creator Dick Wolf] over the decades, and it goes without saying he remains one of the most influential producers in history,” said Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBCUniversal Content Studios, in an interview with Variety. “He is a visionary unlike any other, whose impact has changed the entire television landscape.”
“Your Show Changed My Life”
After the announcement, cast and crew members, as well as fans, shared their delight at three new seasons of Law & Order: SVU! The main star of the show, actress Mariska Hargitay, shared on Instagram, “Mic drop. Boom. Dun dun. Any of them will do. Thank you, NBC.” Rapper Ice-T, another cast member, wrote that he felt “in shock” at how long the series has continued. Meanwhile, showrunner Warren Leight tweeted, “Up late, after a long but good day. Want to thank all the #SVUDiehards who’ve stayed with the show these many years. We would never have received today’s THREE YEAR PICK UP from @NBC without your support and loyalty. From our entire cast, crew, and team, thank you.”
Even more impressive, the longest-running primetime drama isn’t the only record the show will break. Hargitay’s character, Lt. Olivia Benson, will also become the longest-running character in primetime drama history! However, that doesn’t mean she’s necessarily looking forward to more work. “”I hope it doesn’t go on forever. I hope that one day we’ll go, ‘Wait, what? This doesn’t happen,’ [and] that this kind of sexual violence goes away,” Hargitay said in a recent interview with People. “But right now I am still staggered by how many people come up to me and say: ‘Your show changed my life. Your show is the reason that I reported. Your show is the reason I didn’t wash off the DNA.'” These stories ultimately led Hargitay to create the Joyful Heart Foundation, which helps support sexual assault survivors.
Law & Order: SVU: Better And More Relevant Than Ever
SVU wasn’t renewed for no reason: it continues to be a fan favorite and critically-acclaimed. In 2019, it became the most-watched series on American TV, with viewers watching over 150 billion minutes in a single year. Meanwhile, new episode ratings remain high and consistent, which people credit to a few things. One of them is the show’s relevancy. As Hargitay said, sexual violence is still sadly present in society. So, as the core element of the show – battling it – remains one of society’s biggest fights, people see themselves represented. In addition to the relevancy, the show retains a great cast and crew, resulting in great television.
Paul Telegdy, who is the Chairman of NBC Entertainment, said, “Dick Wolf [showrunner] has proven time and time again that he makes shows audiences love. We are delighted, excited, and proud that as part of this epic deal with Wolf Entertainment, NBC’s loyal audience will know that their favorite shows have a certain future for the next three years.”