Why ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Season 24 Could Be a Game-Changer for the Series

by Leanne Stahulak

The bad news for “Law & Order: SVU” fans is that Season 23 has come to a close, but the good news is that Season 24 should be right around the corner.

The Dick Wolf show has been renewed for Season 24 for a while, but some “Law & Order: SVU” fans wonder if the latest season will represent a turn for the franchise. Not only because we don’t know if a Season 25 is in the works, but because it lost a key showrunner.

Warren Leight worked on the show in two separate stints before announcing his departure on May 3. He first became showrunner for Seasons 13 through 17, before taking a break. He then returned for Season 21 in 2019, and now he’s leaving for good.

In his announcement, Leight wrote, “The final day of shooting is always bittersweet. Today was a little more than that. As some of you have already figured out, I am stepping down at the end of #SVU23. The last two years of showrunning during a pandemic have been arduous, and I’ve decided to take a break.”

He continued, “At least once a week this year a brick came thru the window. This person quarantined, that location lost, another show fell behind and our guest star was no longer available. Each time casting, camera, design, wardrobe, locations, h/mu, props, drivers came up with a save.”

Leight concluded, “You’ve stayed loyal to the show, and vocal in your support and occasional dismay, for 23 years. No other show can say that, and so you know. EVERYBODY at SVU is grateful to you for that commitment. You too are part of this team.”

So, What Does This Mean for ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Season 24?

Warren Leight has played a key role in developing the storylines for “Law & Order: SVU” over the last several seasons. But with him now leaving, what direction will the show take?

Yahoo! News believes the other showrunners can keep the momentum of the show running, even without Leight’s guidance. But it’s especially important since the story seems to be taking a turn toward a new love interest for Olivia Benson.

During the Season 23 finale, Rafael Barba (Raúl Esparza) returned to represent a defendant per Rollins’ and Benson’s recommendation. Though Benson knew he could help this victim, she also still felt betrayed by his actions earlier this season. He represented Richard Wheatley (Dylan McDermott), after all, who had Elliott Stabler’s wife murdered.

But by the end of the episode, the two share a moment that could lead to something more in “Law & Order: SVU” Season 24. They admit that they miss each other and that they both have unresolved feelings that they need to confront. Could Bensler fans be in trouble next season? It might be time to make room for a new beau for Olivia.