Law & Order: SVU has been renewed for three more seasons by NBC, bringing the total number of seasons for the Mariska Hargitay-led series to 24 at the close of 2023. This renewal solidifies the record-breaking tv show, which became the longest-running prime time drama with its current 21st season. This year, SVU surpassed the 20 season benchmark set by Law & Order (1990-2010) and Gunsmoke (1955-75).
Hargitay’s character of Olivia Benson has also become the longest-running character in a primetime live-action series. The character has surpassed the longevity of Gunsmoke‘s James Arness and Milburn Stone, as well as Kelsey Grammer’s Frasier Crane, reported Deadline.
The actress shared the news with her fans by posting two Instagram updates.
In the first post, Hargitay uploaded a photo of her in character as Lt. Benson. The words “3 More Seasons” are written across the bottom of the image, as well as the show’s title and hashtag.
A second pic showed the actress on the set of the iconic series. In that post’s caption, she thanked several important people who keep the show fresh and new after more than 470 episodes, including the cast and crew who always “go the distance.”
The series features characters who are detectives from the police department’s special victims unit who investigate and prosecute crimes including rape and domestic violence. They also investigate the abuses of children, the disabled, and elderly victims.
Fans flooded Hargitay’s Instagram comments with good wishes and supportive messages upon learning the news.
“Three more seasons! That makes my soul so happy,” wrote one follower.
“AWESOME!! So pumped!!! So proud in front of the camera an behind the camera…. y’all rock!!” a second fan enthused.
“You’re the hardest working woman in showbiz. Congratulations on all of your success, you sure have earned it,” remarked a third viewer, speaking of their admiration for the actress’ accomplishments on the series.
“I’m not emotionally prepared for the day when the last ever season is announced DONT DO THIS TO US,” a fourth comment read.
Hargitay’s commitment to the difficult issues tackled on SVU led her to create and oversee the Joyful Heart Foundation, dedicated to transforming society’s response to sexual violence. Her foundation focuses on supporting survivors and ending the violence. It has done great work to assist domestic violence and rape victims through their End the Backlog Initiative. Joyful Heart has identified more than 225,000 untested rape kits sitting in storage facilities across the U.S., reported its official website.