Detective Olivia Benson isn’t going anywhere if NBC has anything to say about it. The Peacock network has announced that they will be renewing Law & Order: SVU for a record-setting 21st season, making TV history by becoming the longest-running primetime live-action series.
The one-hour drama surpasses shows the original Law & Order and Gunsmoke, both of which held the record, running for 20 seasons. The history-making show also stars Ice T, Kelli Giddish, Peter Scanavino and Philip Winchester.
“We tip our cap to Dick Wolf, Mariska Hargitay and the amazing cast and crew of SVU, who now all go into the record book,” said Paul Telegdy and George Cheeks, Co-Chairmen, NBC Entertainment in a statement. “This incredible run is an example of what happens when producers, writers and actors all come together and create a show that, year after year, speaks to its audience in a powerful way. We couldn’t be more proud of this remarkable achievement.”
In addition, Lt. Benson, played by Mariska Hargitay, becomes the longest-running character in a primetime live-action series
“As SVU moves into its third decade, Mariska has become an iconic figure as a star, advocate and crusader for women,” added creator Dick Wolf. “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 #1 on the call sheet and, to me, a true friend.”
“I’m deeply proud to be a part of this groundbreaking show, and humbled to make television history today,” Mariska said in a statement. “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.”
Congratulations to the cast and crew. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit airs Thursdays on NBC.