‘Law & Order: SVU’ Tops Thursday Ratings, Outperforming ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

by Josh Lanier

NBC’s bet on Law & Order seems like a smart and strategic move as Law & Order: SVU topped Grey’s Anatomy in their shared Thursday night time slot.

Law & Order: SVU brought in 4.2 million total viewers, putting it in a four-way tie for the night’s demo win, TV Line reported. Grey’s Anatomy had 4.1 million viewers. The only show that saw more viewers was Station 19 on ABC, which collected 4.4 million viewers.

The episode recap for SVU says, “Garland asks Benson to investigate an unusual domestic violence case when his neighbor is found injured.” The show’s win is a testament to its longevity. The show is in its 22nd season and has still found a way to keep viewers tuning in.

New ‘Law & Order’ Spin-Offs Set To Stabilize Lineup

NBC has asked Law & Order creator to save the network. They’re turning both Wednesday and Thursday nights primetime over to him entirely.

“To use the Campbell’s comparison, it’s my hope that viewers are comfortable with the brand, and they know no matter what type of soup they are buying, or show they are watching, they know they are getting a high-quality product,” Wolf told Deadline.

NBC’s Thursday night line-up will now feature the new Law & Order: For the Defense, Law & Order: SVU, and Law & Order: OC. The former is a brand new spin-off that will look at the criminal justice system from a defendant’s point of view. The latter features Christopher Meloni, Dylan McDermott fighting against organized crime. Wolf talked about the potential future storylines of those shows with The Wrap last month.

But Wolf won’t just own NBC’s Thursday night prime-time line-up. He also has control of the Chicago universe that takes up the network’s Wednesday block of prime-time shows. Those include Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago P.D.

“It is my fondest hope that the ratings continue to validate their decision to stack the branded shows,” Wolf said. “Research shows that three hours of primetime should really be seen as a three-hour binge, which is what viewers want.”

NBC hopes Wolf’s familiar brand of drama can draw in more viewers, but they’ll have some stiff competition on another night of the week. Namely against Wolf himself.

That’s because Dick Wolf has branched out to CBS as well, taking over that network’s Tuesday night primetime lineup. It will now feature FBI, newcomer FBI: International, and FBI: Most Wanted. Wolf began producing Law & Order in 1990. That original version of the show ended in 2010. But SVU and OC have thrived.