Law & Order: SVU renewed for season 21 at NBC, will become longest-running live-action series in history

Headline-ripping Law & Order: SVU is now tearing apart the record books. NBC has renewed the venerable Dick Wolf procedural for Season 21, a move that will make it the longest-running primetime live-action series in television history.Mariska Hargitay & Co. will breeze past current title holders OG Law & Order and Gunsmoke, which ran for 20 seasons apiece.

“I’m deeply proud to be a part of this groundbreaking show, and humbled to make television history today,” Hargitay said in a statement. “The longevity and continued success of SVU is a testament not only to the show’s powerful storytelling and ability to connect with viewers, but to its necessity. We have told important stories for 20 years, and we will continue to tell them.”

SVU is currently averaging 4.3 million total viewers and a 0.9 demo rating as NBC’s Thursday night closer, down sharply from its 19th season (which aired on Wednesdays, not leading out of sitcoms) but off just two tenths from what time slot predecessor Chicago Fire did last season. Among NBC’s 11 current dramas, it ranks No. 8 in both measures.

“As SVU moves into its third decade, Mariska has become an iconic figure as a star, advocate and crusader for women,” enthused Wolf. “She is an enduring champion of the movement to end sexual violence, and dozens of episodes have dealt with the very same issues that have shifted into the spotlight in this country in the past two years. Mariska is a delight as No. 1 on the call sheet and, to me, a true friend.”

TVLine’s 2019 Renewal Scorecard has been updated to reflect SVU‘s record-setting pickup.

Launch Gallery: What's Renewed & Cancelled for Next Season?

28 PHOTOS
Mariska Hargitay on 'Law & Order: SVU' through the years
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Mariska Hargitay on 'Law & Order: SVU' through the years
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- Season 1 -- Pictured: Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson -- Photo by: Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- Season 3 -- Pictured: Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson (Photo by Craig Blankenhorn/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- Season 3 -- Pictured: Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson (Photo by Craig Blankenhorn/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAW & ORDER: Special Victims Unit -- Season 1 -- Pictured: (l-r) Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler, Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson -- Photo by: Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- Season 1 -- Pictured: (l-r) Dean Winters as Detective Brian Cassidy, Dann Florek as Captain Donald Cragen, Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson, Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler, Michelle Hurd as Detective Monique Jefferies, Richard Belzer as Detective John Munch -- Photo by: Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Disrobed' Episode 13 -- Air Date 02/04/2000 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson, Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler -- Photo by: Craig Blankenhorn/NBCU Photo Bank
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Payback' Episode 1 -- Air Date 09/20/1999 -- Pictured: Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson (Photo by Jessica Burstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Dolls' Episode 7 -- Pictured: Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson (Photo by Eric Liebowitz/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Weak' Episode 9 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson, Mary Stuart Masterson as Doctor Rebecca Hendrix, Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler (Photo by Will Hart/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- Season 6 -- Pictured: Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson -- Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Burned' Episode 11 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mariska Hargitay as Det. Olivia Benson, Christopher Meloni as Det. Elliot Stabler (Photo by Will Hart/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Philadelphia' Episode 16 -- Pictured: Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson (Photo by Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Annihilated' Episode 20 -- Pictured: (l-r) Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler, Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson (Photo by Will Hart/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Harm' Episode 905 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson, Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliot Stabler -- Photo by: Eric Liebowitz/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT-- 'Authority' Episode 90017 -- Airdate 04/29/2008 -- Pictured: Mariska Hargitay as Det. Olivia Benson -- NBC Photo: Virginia Sherwood
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Unstable' Episode 1021 -- Air Date 09/23/2009 -- Pictured: (l-r) Christine Lahti as ADA Sonya Paxton, Mariska Hargitay as Det. Olivia Benson -- Photo by: Will Hart/NBCU Photo Bank
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Possessed' Episode 1213 -- Pictured: (l-r) Christopher Meloni as Det. Elliot Stabler, Mariska Hargitay as Det. Olivia Benson (Photo by Will Hart/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Blinded' Episode 907 -- Pictured: Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson -- Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Justice Denied' Episode 1318 -- Pictured: Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson -- (Photo by: Eric Liebowitz/NBC)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Father Dearest' Episode 1321 -- Pictured: (l-r) Danny Pino as Detective Nick Amaro, James Van Der Beek as Sean Albers, Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson -- (Photo by: Eric Liebowitz/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Beautiful Frame' Episode 1410 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson, Raul Esparza as ADA Rafael Barba -- (Photo by: Michael Parmelee/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Criminal Stories' Episode 1518 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mariska Hargitay as Sgt. Olivia Benson, Alec Baldwin as Jimmy MacArthur -- (Photo by: Michael Parmelee/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Forgiving Rollins' Episode 1611 -- Pictured: Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson -- (Photo by: Michael Parmelee/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Spousal Privilege' Episode 1608 -- Pictured: Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson -- (Photo by: Michael Parmelee/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Intersecting Lives' Episode 1722 -- Pictured: (l-r) Peter Scanavino as Dominick 'Sonny' Carisi, Mariska Hargitay as Lieutenant Olivia Benson -- (Photo by: Michael Parmelee/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Heartfelt Passages' Episode 1723 -- Pictured: (l-r) Brad Garrett as C.O. Gary Munson, Mariska Hargitay as Lieutenant Olivia Benson, Andy Karl as Sergeant Mike Dodds, Karina Logue as Lisa Munson -- (Photo by: Will Hart/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Sunk Cost Fallacy' Episode 1919 -- Pictured: Mariska Hargitay as Lieutenant Olivia Benson -- (Photo by:Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- 'Mama' Episode 1922 -- Pictured: Mariska Hargitay as Lieutenant Olivia Benson -- (Photo by: Virgina Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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