Mariska Hargitay’s ‘Law & Order: SUV’ Renewed, Could It Become The Longest-Running Drama Ever?

Fans can now rejoice knowing that Mariska Hargitay and company will be back with an 18th season of Law & Order: SVU. NBC has officially renewed the Dick Wolf-created series along with a second season of Chicago Med. The only question remaining is whether or not the series will be able to break the record and become the longest running drama of all time.

According to Yahoo News, SVU’s parent series, Law & Order, managed to thrill fans with 20 seasons. This tied the previous record of longest running drama held by the classic western Gunsmoke. While Law & Order proved to start one of the most fruitful relationships in NBC’s history, the series was cancelled before it could break Gunsmoke’s record. Will SVU suffer the same fate?

At this point, there is no way of knowing if SVU will continue beyond the 18th season, let alone go on for three more. However, considering how the series still manages to bring in high ratings for the network, there is a good chance that it will continue strong, as long as the primary cast members stick with it.

Fortunately for fans, it appears as though Mariska Hargitay is on board for at least another season. In fact, in a recent message on Twitter, the SVU star thanked fans for their support and seemed excited about the upcoming season.

“So honored 2 have another season to bring u #SVU. We r proud of the work we do and especially grateful 2 our incredible fans #ThankYOU #SVU18,” she wrote.

Meanwhile, the renewal also marks one of the longest lasting relationships in NBC’s history between the network and Wolf. In fact, along with Law & Order: SVU, Wolf is gearing up for another season of Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and a possible future series in Chicago Law.

Chicago Med and Chicago Fire are two of Dick Wolf's latest hits. [Image via NBC]

In speaking about what Wolf has meant to the industry over the past few decades, NBC’s chairman of entertainment, Robert Greenblatt, explained how Wolf has managed to really separate himself from the pack as one of the most successful producers in drama.

“Dick Wolf is a without a doubt one of the greatest producers in the history of dramatic television,” Greenblatt explained. “The Law & Order legacy would have been enough to set him apart from all the rest, but the Chicago franchise now kicks him into the stratosphere. He has been a defining voice of NBC for over a generation, and he is most welcome at this company forever.”

That being said, the Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the new deal between Wolf and NBC was not an easy one to work out. In fact, there were a number of different considerations and angles that had to be addressed before any deal could be finalized. This included how Wolf’s shows would be handled in other venues, including online streaming services.

Dick Wolf celebrated 300 episodes of SVU with the cast. [Image via NBC]
Dick Wolf celebrated 300 episodes of SVU with the cast. [Image via NBC]

After months of deliberations, Wolf and NBC were able to negotiate a new contract. As far as Wolf is concerned, the creator shared some of his reasons for sticking with NBC throughout the years and not seeking outside funding for his ventures.

“Nobody knows what shape the business is going to be in five years from now. Those intervening years are fraught with uncertainty but everybody is getting along,” Wolf explained. “Bob and I have an incredibly strong partnership. And it’s working.”

Considering Wolf’s good standing with NBC, there is a strong possibility that SVU will continue as long as Wolf and the cast are willing to be a part of it. Whether or not that means the show will venture beyond a 20th season is yet to be seen.

Tell us! Do you think Mariska Hargitay and Law & Order: SVU can overtake Gunsmoke as the longest-running show of all-time? Let us know in the comments below.

[Image via NBC]