NBC‘s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit finished up its 18th season tonight. So you might be wondering if Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T and the rest of the unit are coming back for a 19th season. The answer is yes, SVU has already been renewed and will return in fall 2017.
NBC officially renewed SVU on May 12 and it was a very easy decision. After all, you can’t kill a show that’s averaging an 18-49 demographic rating over 1.3 in its 18th season. As TVSeriesFinale notes, the show averaged a 1.34 18-49 rating and 5.794 million total viewers. The show continues to perform so well that NBC scheduled it for the same Wednesday, 9 p.m. ET time slot for next season.
While the cast for SVU is expected to remain the same for season 19, the show is losing its showrunner. As Variety confirmed, Rick Eid is leaving the show to oversee another Dick Wolf show, Chicago P.D.. A new showrunner for SVU hasn’t been announced.
SVU‘s 18th season was not completely without controversy. The show often picks topical subjects, so the season finale focused on a hate crime. There was also supposed to be an episode inspired by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the sexual harassment claims the president faced. The episode, which starred Gary Cole (VEEP) as a businessman running a political campaign, has never aired even though it was completed.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Raul Esparza, who plays ADA Barba, said he’s confident the show can survive another showrunner change. He’s sure that Mariska Hargitay won’t let anything go wrong on her show.
“NBC is really supportive of the show and on top of that, we have Mariska as our fearless leader who treats every episode – and and I am not exaggerating when I say this – like its her first. I don’t know how she does it,” Esparza told THR. “She’s like a fierce mama bear taking care of the show and taking care of us, and I trust her. I think whatever growing pains there are are mitigated by the fact that everyone is trying to do their very best on this.”
If SVU reaches 20 seasons, it will tie Gunsmoke and the original Law & Order for the most seasons for a live-action American primetime show. Hargitay has a Golden Globe from 2005 and and Emmy from 2006 for playing Olivia Benson. The series’ current main cast also includes Ice-T, Raul Esparza, Kelli Giddish and Peter Scanavino.