‘Law & Order: SVU’ Hardly Loses Any Viewers in Season 23

by Allison Hambrick

“Law & Order: SVU” continues to score consistent ratings, landing in the top five for all shows on NBC in 2021. Considering it is currently in its 23rd season, those are pretty strong numbers.

According to TVLine, SVU raked in a respectable L+7 rating, meaning the number of people watching and recording, of 1.2. The total viewership averaged at 6.63 million, placing them in fifth place of all NBC shows. This figure is down only three percent from the viewership of season 22. The top-rated program was, unsurprisingly, Sunday Night Football, with a 4.9 L+7 rating and 17.72 million viewers.

Wolf Entertainment, which produces SVU had several shows in the top five. Aside from SVU, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and Chicago Med ranked second, third, and fourth, respectively. All three had viewership in the 9 million range. Additionally, Law & Order: Organized Crime made seventh place, with 5.86 million in viewers.

While these aren’t necessarily the strongest numbers, they bode well for the future of Law & Order: SVU. Granted, fans have recently expressed concerns over the decline of the show.

Is the Quality of Law & Order: SVU Decreasing?

A user over on Reddit questioned fellow fans about their feelings on the more recent seasons of the show. Overall, they agreed that season 13 was when the series began to show its age. Coincidentally, series star Christopher Meloni departed the series after season 12. Given that he was a fan favorite, that was certainly a blow to the show.

“The quality dropped off when they renovated the office,” said dizzler0613. “That’s when they got a bigger budget. So the prologues became more flashy, the camera work became more detailed. It’s a bigger box to open, with a lesser prize inside. In this case, simpler was better.”

User Poetryisalive shared that they thought the older episodes were more interesting and balanced all of the detectives more effectively. While they didn’t call any others out by name, they felt that Fin Tutuola, played by Ice-T, suffered the most from these issues, an opinion shared by many fans.

“The characters have changed drastically,” another user wrote. “Like I get the actors are older and so is their characters but Bensons super soft whisper voice is annoying sometimes! And Fin like [what the f—] happened with him, yes he’s in episodes but it’s almost as if his character is just…there.”

While these concerns are common throughout SVU‘s audience, their ratings are still consistent. Even so, if the series continues in the same vein, it may end up losing viewers as a result. Then again, who can blame the Redditors for wanting more of Ice-T? Surely, someone could, but he’s been on the show for 20 years. It isn’t too much to ask that the creators acknowledge the investment audiences have in the character.