‘Law & Order’ Showrunner Confirms Crossover With ‘SVU’s Mariska Hargitay in Season Finale

by Leanne Stahulak

For “Law & Order” fans who’ve been eagerly awaiting a franchise crossover, we’ve got some good news for you: An “SVU” crossover will take place for the season finale.

Specifically, showrunner Rick Eid told TODAY that Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) will make an appearance in the “Law & Order” finale episode. It doesn’t sound like the story will carry over into an “SVU” or “Organized Crime” episode. But we’re excited to see the newly-revived flagship show intersecting with the popular spinoffs.

“In the finale, Olivia Benson appears, which is exciting,” Eid told the outlet earlier. “Benson crosses with Detectives Cosgrove and Bernard; they need to talk to her.”

According to TODAY, one of Cosgrove’s friends, an off-duty police officer, gets shot. This leads to tension between the DA’s office and the police department, but we’re not sure where Benson comes in with the SVU unit. What we do know, per Eid, is that the season finale airing on May 19 does NOT feature “some big cliffhanger.”

“It’s more of an emotional finale,” he said.

Some wonder why a “Law & Order” and “SVU” crossover didn’t happen sooner. Especially when the first episode of the revived series featured an SVU crime. Couldn’t we have seen Benson before the season finale?

“There was no specific reason (for her not to be in that episode),” Eid explained. “Other than that we were building sets and writing scripts and doing other things. There definitely was a Special Victims backstory to it, but at the end of the day, it was still a homicide. There just wasn’t a compelling legal or evidentiary reason.”

And, perhaps Benson being included toward the end of the season was more intentional than we think. The showrunners could be setting us up for a more thorough crossover “Law & Order” episode next season.

‘Law & Order’ Showrunner Rick Eid Teases ‘Three-Part Crossover’

While this season’s crossover episode only takes place on “Law & Order,” that doesn’t mean we couldn’t see a more expanded storyline in the future. For many series, these crossovers will directly affect the stories in all of the franchise shows, leading to an entire week where each show focuses on a different aspect of the plot.

Where this season we might see Benson briefly pop in on “Law & Order,” next season we could see other plays appear on “SVU” and “Organized Crime” as well.

“That’s something that will probably happen in Season 2. We’ve definitely been talking about a three-part crossover,” Eid revealed to TODAY.

He also brought up the struggles of bringing back a popular series 10 years after it ended. “The show is so beloved and iconic that if you’re going to bring it back you’d better try hard to live up to its standards,” he revealed. “Things have changed and people have gotten used to a different, glossier look (to TV). We want you to feel like you’re in (the room), but also make it pleasurable to watch.”

We have no doubt that the “Law & Order” showrunners can make it happen, while also making a successful crossover event. Here’s hoping.