‘Law & Order: SVU’: Ice-T Wasn’t Supposed to Have a Regular Role on Show

by Suzanne Halliburton

It doesn’t seem possible. When Law & Order: SVU premiered more than two decades ago, Fin Tutuola wasn’t supposed to have much of a presence.

In fact, Fin, played by the brilliant Ice-T, was written to appear in a four-episode story arc as Law & Order: SVU spun away from Law & Order, the Dick Wolf creation. The show represented the first of several spinoffs.

“And here I am now on season 22,” Ice-T told Access Hollywood back in March. “So I guess you say,  ‘never say never.’

Let’s update that quote. Ice-T as Fin is filming season 23. Law & Order: SVU premieres, Sept. 23. He’s sitting at 474 episodes playing an NYPD detective on the longest-running drama in TV network history.

The only actor more identified with the show is Mariska Hargitay, who as Olivia Benson, has starred in 496 episodes. The show premiered in 1999 — Ice-T first appeared in 2000. It was big news when Ice-T the rapper got signed for a Law & Order spinoff.

Ice-T performs in 1999 (Photo by Don Zulaica/Liaison)

It’s Simple: Ice-T Said He Stuck with Law & Order: SVU Because He Liked the Cast

Why’d he stick with Law & Order: SVU for so long? It’s the vibe, Ice-T said.

“When people ask how I can be on a show for so long, I say, “It’s easy,” the Law & Order: SVU star said in an interview with TV Insider.

“Everyone on the show is very cool, no one has harsh words and Dick Wolf’s checks clear, so it’s nice work.”

It’s a nice check to cash, too. Ice-T reportedly earns $250,000 an episode. He also hosts a show on Oxygen called In Cold Blood. True crime docuseries are popular these days. So who better to talk about them than Ice-T?

The Law & Order: SVU star also likes to drop philosophical musings on social media. Tuesday’s topic involved money. He tweeted:

“ICE COLD Fact: The difference between Money and Time… You may know how much Money you have… But nobody knows how much Time they have.. Spend it wisely.”

In other Law & Order: SVU news, Hargitay celebrated a healing event last week. She got to ditch her protective boot off her now healed broken ankle. Showrunners had to create a new story detail for Hargitay’s Olivia Benson to acknowledge the star’s injury.

Hargitay slipped on wet pavement in July and broke her ankle. She still was in the boot when production started on the show. So Olivia Benson also had a limp. It’s been that kind of year for Hargitay. She broke her knee cap back in May after season 22 ended.

Meanwhile, the show announced that Jamie Gray Hyder and Demore Barnes will be leaving the series. The two had been series regulars for the last two seasons. The opening two episodes will explain their departure. It didn’t sound like Hyder wanted to leave. She posted on Twitter: “Kat’s outta the bag… #SVU23 Just got a lot less colorful.”

The Law & Order: SVU premiere will be a two-hour affair. Stay tuned.