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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Photo Credit:  Jason Bell/NBC
  • Premiered: 
    September 20, 1999
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: NBC
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Drama
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Second series in the franchise of Law & Order 
  • Subject Matter: Crime
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  • Season 1
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  • Season 13
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  • Season 14
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  • Season 15
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  • Season 16
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    Season 1
    Season 7
    Season 8
    Season 9
    Season 10
    Season 11
    Season 12

Plot Synopsis

LAW & ORDER: SVU -- a spinoff from LAW & ORDER -- chronicles the life and crimes of the Special Victims Unit of the New York Police Department as detectives investigate the city's especially heinous sexually-based offenses, which are often ripped from recent headlines. For the first 12 seasons, this drama series focused on detectives Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson, and now Benson, a seasoned veteran of the unit, is the acting commander of the SVU leading with empathy and professionalism, all the while dealing with her difficult past as a product of rape, and her future as mother to a young child, both of which influence the way she relates to each victim in need of help. The squad also includes: Det. Odafin "Fin" Tutuola, who adds a unique sense of humor and undercover investigative experience, which made him a formidable match for his former partner, Munch; and Det. Amanda Rollins. Currently the longest-running drama series on television, the show's 14th season opened with the head of the DA's Public Integrity Unit handling the case against then-captain Don Cragen, who was under suspicion of murder after Season 13 closed with him waking up in the middle of the night with blood on his hands and a dead prostitute in his bed. Season 15 debuted with the cliffhanger from the previous season, when Detective Benson was put in mortal danger by an unnamed man who masterfully outplayed the SVU squad after being arrested in Central Park. A few episodes later, Det. Munch retired from the force. In the Season 16 premiere, Benson juggled work and her new role as foster mother to baby Noah Porter. Det. Amaro, working the traffic beat in Queens, arrested an underage prostitute with connections to Noah's mother, who was greenlit by her pimp and brutally murdered. Amaro's undercover work set off a chain of events that put everyone connected to the case -- even baby Noah -- in danger. Meanwhile, Det. Sonny Carisi started off on the wrong foot after being assigned to Manhattan SVU. Season 17 of LAW & ORDER: SVU premiered on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 from 9-11pm ET/PT on NBC with a two-hour season opener, and then moves to its regular timeslot -- Wednesdays from 9-10pm ET/PT -- the following week. In the season premiere, "Devil's Dissections/Criminal Pathology," the SVU is called to a familiar crime scene -- the beach where serial killer Gregory Yates (guest star Dallas Roberts) buried his many victims. When another body washes ashore, Detective Rollins tries to coax him into confessing, but the surprising information he provides sends shockwaves through the police department. As the case goes to court, Barba faces off against two hotshot defense attorneys in a trial that leads to blackmail, an incriminating confession, a new victim and a fugitive suspect.
Tonight (Wednesday, October 7, 2015) at 9pm ET/PT, NBC premieres the "Institutional Fail" episode of LAW & ORDER: SVU, with guest star Whoopi Goldberg. A starving toddler found wandering the streets alone leads detectives to the home of Manuela Ozuna (guest star Jessica Pimental) and another child in grave condition. The police question Department of Child Services caseworker Keith Musio (guest star John Magaro), whose vague and backdated reports on the family suggest he hadn't checked on the children in months. When the overworked Keith accuses his supervisor, Janette Grayson (Goldberg), of orchestrating the false reports, Chief Dodds promises to conduct an internal investigation. But when neglect leads to death, Barba takes matters into his own hands and arrests them for manslaughter. Meanwhile, Dodds indicates some changes coming to Benson's squad.


Other Titles

  • Previously known as Law & Order's Sex Crimes
  • Also known as Law & Order: SVU

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Wolf Films
  • In association with Universal Television
  • In association with Studios USA Television


  • - New York City, New York USA

Firsts, Lasts & Notable Notes

  • March 31, 2009: First time the United Nations appears on TV as a setting in a major network television production.
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Births, Deaths & Weddings

  • May 18, 2011: Sister Peg dies
  • April 9, 2014: William Lewis dies
  • May 20, 2015: Johnny D dies