Here we are in 2021 and Law & Order: SVU is thankfully still on TV with new episodes. However, which season was the most-watched ever? For one of TV’s longest-running dramas, there are a lot of numbers to look through. However, we do have the answer Outsiders. So, get ready.
With the first season debuting in 1999, there are few shows with the runtime as long as SVU. What isn’t there to like? Olivia Benson, Elliot Stabler, Fin Tutuola, and all the various characters recurring, guests, and more. While the show still has a very loyal fan base that keeps up with the new seasons and episodes, the most-watched season came back in the early 2000s.
So, let’s go back to a time when Friends topped the charts, CSI was the most popular crime drama, and ER was still king in the medical genre. Heck, TV’s #1 comedy was Everybody Loves Raymond. That’s right, I’m talking about the years 2001-2002.
That year Law & Order: SVU premiered season 3 on September 28, 2001. Following the midseason break, the season finished up on May 17, 2002. During that time, the show saw its best numbers in the demo rating (10.4), average viewership (15.2 million), and overall rank on TV. Coming in at #12 overall for the 2001-2002 TV season, SVU outperformed shows such as Fraiser, 60 Minutes, The King of Queens, Fear Factor, and many others. The original Law & Order series finished 7th that year.
Law & Order: SVU has had a bit of a decline in those metrics over the years. However, folks just don’t watch regular TV as much as they used to. With streaming services and the internet at our fingertips, traditional ratings have taken a hit across the board.
‘Law & Order: SVU’ Ratings This Season
This season, Law & Order: SVU has had good numbers compared to the Thursday slate of shows. However, during the fall season, that means competing against Thursday Night Football in the NFL. That’s always going to be a tough one to go up against. The NFL usually dominates the nights that they play games, and that hasn’t been different in 2021.
However, there have been multiple times this season when SVU has led the way out of all non-football programming. There have been strong showings for sure this season. Also, there have been storyline crossovers with Organized Crime, building the SVU world out even more than before.
So, Law & Order: SVU keeps competing with the best of them. There aren’t many shows that can beat it out on Thursday nights. As the fall season wraps up, we will have a better idea of where the show stands ratings-wise.