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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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38 ( 2)

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Season 21 Premiere



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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 ...


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2019   2018   2017   2016   2015   2014   … See all »
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 51 wins & 148 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Mariska Hargitay ...  Olivia Benson 459 episodes, 1999-2019
Ice-T ...  Odafin Tutuola 437 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 / ... 188 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:

Where Risks are Taken 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

Isabel Gillies and Daniel Sunjata, who had recurring roles as Kathy Stabler and a CSU technician, respectively, both played murder suspects on Law & Order (1990); Gillies in season eight, episode twenty-one, "Bad Girl", and Sunjata in season fifteen, episode twelve, "Mammon". See more »

Goofs

When witness or suspects are brought to the station and interrogated sometimes it's pretty clear they didn't want to come. If there is no probable cause for an arrest or an active arrest warrant, the police can't make you go anywhere against your will. Once in a while, a wealthy or educated person will assert this, but mostly the cops just walk up to people, put the cuffs on them, and place them in the car. See more »

Quotes

John Munch: Not to mention the fact that I lost a wife after less than one night of connubial bliss to someone who was not only a detective but a member of my own squad.
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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 2 Broke Girls: And the Extra Work (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

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