‘Law & Order: SVU’: New Showrunner David Graziano Pays Tribute to the Show’s Crew

by Caitlin Berard

The pandemic was tough on everyone, including the long-time Law & Order: SVU showrunner, Warren Leight. Following the Season 23 finale, Leight announced that he would be stepping back from the series.

Though he enjoyed his time with the police procedural, the beloved producer explained that he needed time away. “The last two years of show running during a pandemic have been arduous, and I’ve decided to take a break,” Leight explained in a lengthy and heartfelt social media post.

Warren Leight had nothing but glowing comments about his fellow crew and the entire SVU cast. As many actors and crew members have explained, the Law & Order set is a great place to be.

This sentiment was reaffirmed by Leight’s replacement, David Graziano, who’s already experienced the magic of being part of the Law & Order family. “Court is now in session,” he wrote in the caption of a recent Instagram post. “Jean Paul Sartre once said: ‘Hell is other people’. But if you ask me, the b—-rd was dead wrong.”

“EXHIBIT A: Yesterday was the first official day of the writer’s room for SVU Season 24 – and this group of talented industry professionals turned this court set into a special kind of heaven.”

Law & Order fans flooded the post with messages of excitement. “Welcome to SVU!! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us and our favorite squad!” one wrote. “Congratulations! Excited to see what you bring us in season 24!” another said.

‘Law & Order’ Guest Star Praises ‘SVU’ Legend Mariska Hargitay

Since 1999, Mariska Hargitay has held a starring role in Law & Order: SVU. And when her on-screen partner and best friend, Elliot Stabler (Chris Meloni) made his departure after Season 12, she became the star of the show. Hargitay is now synonymous with the iconic police procedural and not only plays an irreplaceable character in the series but helps produce it as well.

Through her more than 20 years with the series, Mariska Hargitay has more than earned her unique position. In addition to her top-notch acting, she also plays a huge part in creating a welcoming environment behind the scenes.

Lost star Elizabeth Mitchell once guest-starred on Law & Order and can attest to this fact. “Mariska’s the best lead I can think of,” Mitchell explained to Looper. “She is kind, she is smart, she is absolutely 100% ready to go. Watching her and the way that she runs her set is a real joy.”

“[Mariska] creates a very warm environment when you’re backstage or in your dressing room,” she said. “I remember, I was there with my younger son, and she was playing with him on the floor, and took us bowling. [It was] such a lovely, warm environment, even with all the hard stuff that happens on screen.”