'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' gets renewed for Season 21, breaks record for longest-running primetime drama
The new and 21st season will mean SVU will push past the original 'Law & Order' and also beat 'Gunsmoke', to become the longest-running prime-time drama ever
'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' has just been renewed by NBC for yet another season, and this also marks the long-running procedural drama, breaking television records, as a new and 21st season will mean it will push past the original 'Law & Order'. In fact, 'Special Victims Unit' aka 'SVU' will also beat 'Gunsmoke', to become the longest-running prime-time drama ever.
“I’m deeply proud to be a part of this groundbreaking show, and humbled to make television history today,” said star Mariska Hargitay, who has been the iconic Lt. Olivia Benson ever since the show's beginning. “The longevity and continued success of SVU, is a testament not only to the show’s powerful storytelling and ability to connect with viewers, but to its necessity. We have told important stories for 20 years, and we will continue to tell them.”
20 years ago, we started a conversation. We're not finished. I'm profoundly proud of how far we've come. Prouder still of how far we'll go.— Mariska Hargitay (@Mariska) March 29, 2019
We've all broken this ground together. #SVUSeason21 https://t.co/foJUUuNkQy
Creator Dick Wolf also addressed the milestone achievement, adding: “As SVU moves into its third decade, Mariska has become an iconic figure as a star, advocate, and crusader for women. She is an enduring champion of the movement to end sexual violence, and dozens of episodes have dealt with the very same issues that have shifted into the spotlight in this country in the past two years. Mariska is a delight as No. 1 on the call sheet and, to me, a true friend.”
Having first premiered all the way back in 1999, the show revolves around Hargitay's character Benson, and the rest of the Special Victims Unit at the New York City Police Department. The detectives are in charge of investigating crimes involving sexual assault, child abuse, and domestic violence. While Hargitay has received due recognition for her role in the form of an Emmy and a Golden Globe, her character, Lt. Benson, has also become the longest-running female character in a primetime live-action series.
SVU has been OFFICIALLY picked up for season #21. Making us the longest running drama in Television History! Respect to the man Dick Wolf @NBCUniversal @Mariska @KelliGiddish @PeterScanavino @philipwinchestr and all my past and present Cast and Crew! And definetly ALL the fans! pic.twitter.com/vKX5u069ir— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) March 29, 2019
Alongside Hargitay, SVU’s current cast also brags familiar names from the industry like Ice T as Sgt. Odafin “Fin” Tutuola, Kelli Giddish as Det. Amanda Rollins, Peter Scanavino as Det. Sonny Carisi, and Philip Winchester as Asst. District Attorney Peter Stone.
As for what's coming in the record-breaking season 21, last fall, showrunner Michael Chernuchin shared with Entertainment Weekly that he and the entire cast and crew of the show "want it to be so special," adding: "We want it to go another five or six years, but becoming the longest-running show in history, we’re all building towards that.”
'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' airs Thursdays on NBC.