HomeAmerican EntertainmentTVLaw & Order‘Law & Order’: Why ‘SVU’ is the Most Popular Series in the Franchise

‘Law & Order’: Why ‘SVU’ is the Most Popular Series in the Franchise

by Joe Rutland
(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

One of the things that makes Law & Order: SVU so good happens to play into the reason it’s the most popular series in the franchise. It might sound pretty simple but this gets down to the core of this fine show. Characters roll in and out of the NBC drama every season. One character, though, is still standing after all these years.

Olivia Benson Character Helps ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Stay On Top

Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson shows up week after week. The work that Benson does acts like a strong backbone for the show. As Benson goes, so goes SVU. Of course, there have been other characters over the years like Ice-T’s Fin Tutuola or Richard Belzer’s Munch. Heck, let’s toss in Benson’s old partner Elliot Stabler, played by Chris Meloni.

They do add special touches and elements to the show. Who, though, shows up with a lot of consistency? Benson. SVU hit TV screens in 1999 and is still churning out episodes left and right. Seeing the dynamic between Benson and Stabler has been awesome to see. Of course, Meloni left after 12 seasons to do other projects. Fans were happy to see him come back and play Elliot again on Law & Order: Organized Crime. They also get to continue with the romantic storyline, or a hopeful romantic storyline, between these two beloved characters.

Actress Has Remained Clued Into The Show’s Fans For A Long Time

Another thing about Hargitay is she’s dialed in to the show’s fans. “I was quickly educated about how this show was affecting people,” she told TV Guide Magazine in 2018. “People would say, ‘Thank you…I’ve never told anyone before [about my sexual abuse].’ It’s always been a personal connection.” We get more from TV Insider.

One time, Meloni said acting opposite Hargitay “gives life” to their characters. “There’s a history there, there’s an effortlessness there,” he said. “I think we get to play notes that only she and I could play together. You know, what comes out of that duet. So, it’s very unique and so, that is refreshing and it gives life to both of us.”

Meanwhile, Hargitay did admit in an interview that Benson has loved Stabler for a long time. “Olivia Benson is hurt,” she said while talking with talk-show host Drew Barrymore. “He left me in a lurch for 10 years. [But he’s back] and the energy is there. Olivia has been in love with him for many a year. And I think we’re slowly [finding] our way back to it.” You can catch this show on Thursday nights on NBC as part of the Law & Order franchise night. It’s right between the OG Law & Order and Organized Crime.