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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 

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The Special Victims Unit, a specially trained squad of detectives in the NYPD, investigate sexually related crimes.

Creator:

Dick Wolf
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58

Episodes

Season 21 Premiere


Thu, Sep 26 at 10:01 PM on NBC

When an actress accuses a high-powered media mogul of attempted rape, Benson finds herself in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse. Changes in the squad room put Carisi between a rock ...


Most Recent Episode


Thursday, May 16

Lt. Benson suspects Rob Miller is behind the mysterious death of a girl found dead in the Hudson River but can't prove it. Despite having only circumstantial evidence ADA Stone takes ...


Previous Episode


Thursday, May 9

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21   20   19   18   17   16   15   14   13   … See all »
2019   2018   2017   2016   2015   2014   … See all »
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 51 wins & 149 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Mariska Hargitay ...  Olivia Benson 460 episodes, 1999-2019
Ice-T ...  Odafin Tutuola 438 episodes, 2000-2019
Dann Florek ...  Donald Cragen 331 episodes, 1999-2015
Richard Belzer ...  John Munch 326 episodes, 1999-2016
Christopher Meloni ...  Elliot Stabler 272 episodes, 1999-2011
BD Wong ...  Dr. George Huang 230 episodes, 2001-2015
Tamara Tunie ...  Dr. Melinda Warner 222 episodes, 2000-2018
Kelli Giddish ...  Amanda Rollins / ... 189 episodes, 2007-2019
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Storyline

In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. These are their stories. Written by John Craig

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Still New York's finest. (season 19) See more »


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Channel 5 [UK] | NBC [United States] | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 September 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Law & Order's Sex Crimes See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Law & Order SVU was renewed for its 21st season, it beat the record for longest running live-action prime-time series originally set by Gunsmoke (1955). However, Gunsmoke still holds the record for more episodes (635 vs 458) due to longer production run and in order for SVU to surpass that record it would have to run till season 28. See more »

Goofs

When the Police need to arrest a medical professional, they are frequently shown barging into his/her office, exam room, or even the operating room. This would never happen in real life and is strictly forbidden, as it is a gross violation of the patient's privacy, and in the case of the OR, could contaminate the sterile environment, thereby jeopardizing patient safety as well. See more »

Quotes

M.E. Melinda Warner: [performing an autopsy with the detectives present] No fluids present. Tests show spermicide common in condoms.
[removes an organ from the body and weighs it]
Elliot Stabler: This is fun.
See more »

Crazy Credits

From the second episode of the second season (2000-2001), the opening credits break the pattern followed by the earlier episodes of SVU, the original Law & Order, and Criminal Intent. Instead of the credits ending with a shot of the cast walking towards the camera, they instead are shown sitting around a desk. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Not Driving Anymore
(remix)
Written and Performed by Rob Dougan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A worthy follow-up
23 December 2004 | by mentalcriticSee all my reviews

Around 2000, Law & Order had become one of the longest-running television shows based on a fictional premise, although it still has a long way to go in order to catch up with the record holders. Such was the continued popularity of the series that creator Dick Wolf saw a market for a spin-off, and was obviously glad to oblige. Hence, over ten years after Law & Order burst onto the airwaves, Special Victims Unit was born, so to speak.

Of course, the show had a little problem finding its feet at first. This is only natural, even for a series spun off from a successful formula. The challenges Special Victims Unit faced included a major deviation from the normal Law & Order structure. The segment dealing with the trials of suspects was dispensed with, emphasising for the most part the efforts of the detectives to bring victims a sense of justice. As the series progressed, work with a District Attorney began to find its way into the plots, but in a manner more complementary to the work of the detectives.

As in any series, the key ingredient is finding sympathetic leads that the audience can relate to. Where the original Law & Order eventually found solid ground in the form of Jerry Orbach, Special Victims Unit more or less got this element right from the start. Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni play so well off one another that it is certainly going to make life difficult for the unlucky actors who get to replace them. Another side benefit of the reduction in emphasis on the legal dealings is that we get to see more of the personal lives of the detectives, without them necessarily having to be worked into the plot. Every now and again, insight into the impact the job has on Stabler's family life in particular is offered, and it works wonderfully.

The fundamental weakness in Special Victims Unit to date has been the supporting cast. Richard Belzer's schtick can get tiring, but adds the ironic comic touch (delivered so brilliantly by Orbach in the original series), which Meloni seems incapable of delivering. One has to wonder, however, whose bright idea it was to cast Ice-T as a replacement for one of the early detectives, as no matter how hard he tries to sound the part, one cannot believe him as a detective. Especially not one in this particular squad. The relative underdevelopment of most of the support characters does not help.

Another challenge faced with every episode of Law & Order in any form is to come up with cases interesting enough to grab the attention. The original series is faltering slightly on this score, but when it does succeed, it succeeds enough to more than make up for all the average stories. Special Victims Unit, on the other hand, sets a consistent level for each episode. Because of the extreme nature of the crimes being investigated, they each become alike for the most part. It is the little details that make the big difference. This is, of course, a much better deal than the other spin-off, where the stories are consistent in how uninteresting they are.

In all, Special Victims Unit is a well worthy follow-up to the original Law & Order. It is not recommended for sensitive viewers, but as an insight into the lot of those who have to clean up the mess in one of the modern world's most sexually violent societies, it works brilliantly. It even has potential to get better.


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