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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV Series)

6.4
2,059
Ratings
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Original title
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV Series)
Year
Running time
60 min.
Country
United States United States
Director
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Screenwriter
Dick Wolf, Dawn DeNoon, Jonathan Greene, Amanda Green, Judy McCreary, Lisa Marie Petersen, Warren Leight, Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters, Julie Martin, Patrick Harbinson, Robert F. Campbell, Daniel Truly
Music
Mike Post
Cinematography
Geoffrey Erb, George Pattison, Tony C. Jannelli, Tom Weston, Phil Oetiker
Cast
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Producer
Broadcast by NBC Network
Genre
TV Series. Drama | Courtroom Drama. Cop Movies. Crime. Sexual Abuse
Official Site
http://www.nbc.com/law-and-order-special-victims-unit/
Synopsis / Plot
TV Series (1999-present). Originally called Sex Crimes, executive producer Dick Wolf wisely opted for something less lurid when the second in the inexhaustible Law & Order franchise hit the air in 1999. Still, as the opening voiceover makes clear, the 'sexually based offenses' investigated by New York's Special Victims Unit can be 'especially heinous.'

Wolf penned series premier 'Payback,' which sets the scene, but not the tone. It's a lively, if uneasy mix between horror (rape) and comedy (risqué banter). As the show progressed, humor would be written out altogether (leaving Richard Belzer's Homicide-derived John Munch with increasingly less to do). Less emphasis would also be placed on the home lives of this 'elite squad of dedicated detectives.' Mostly, 'Payback' introduces us to the unit, centering around partners Olivia Benton (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni). For two people with so little in common, they make a terrific team--arguably one of TV's best. Stabler is married with four children; Benton is single and her closest relationship is with her mother (Elizabeth Ashley). While Stabler can get a little rough with suspects, Benton tends to over-empathize with the victims. They report to the no-nonsense Captain Cragen (Law & Order vet Dann Florek). Like the parent program's Lenny Briscoe, he's a recovering alcoholic. Dean Winters and Michelle Hurd round out the rock-solid cast.
Awards
2011: Emmy: Nominated for Best Actress in Drama Series (Mariska Hargitay)
2010: Best Guest Actress (Ann-Margaret). Nominated for Best Actress (Hargitay)
2009: Emmy: Best Guest Actress (Burstyn). 4 Nominations
2008: Emmy: Best Guest Actress (Nixon). 3 Nominations
2007: Emmy: Best Main Actress (Caron). 3 Nominations
2006: Emmy: BEst Actress in Drama (Hargitay). Nominated for Best actor (Meloni)
2005: Emmy: Best Guest Actress (Plummer). 3 Nominations
2004: Emmy: 3 Nominations, Including Best Actress in Drama Series (Hargitay)
2008: Golden Globes: Nominated for Best Actress Series TV Drama (Hargitay)
2004: Golden Globes: Best Actress Series TV Drama (Mariska Hargitay)
1999: Producers Guild Awards (PGA): Nominated for Best TV Series
2003: Writers Guild of America (WGA): 2 Nominations for Best Screenplay in Episodic Drama
2010: Screen Actors Guild (SAG): Nominated for Best Actress in Drama Series (Hargitay)
2009: Screen Actors Guild (SAG): Nominated for Best Actress in Drama Series (Hargitay)
2008: Screen Actors Guild (SAG): Nominated for Best Actress in Drama Series (Hargitay)
2006: Screen Actors Guild (SAG): Nominated for Best Actress in Drama Series (Hargitay)
2006: Screen Actors Guild (SAG): Nominated for Best Actress in Drama Series (Hargitay)
2003: Screen Actors Guild (SAG): Nominated for Best Actress in Drama Series (Hargitay)
Critics' reviews
  • "It takes a while to pull you in -- but once it does, you're likely to stay"
  • "A crackling-sharp spinoff...The show swiftly finds its balance. Not every series lends itself to cloning, but the essential qualities of 'Law and Order' seem made for it"
  • "It's a solid drama, but it's no 'Law & Order' - yet...On its own, it's a good show. But it's got the genes to be great"
  • "Meloni is smirky, Hargitay whiny, and transferred-from-'Homicide' detective John Munch (Richard Belzer) seems out of place. But Wolf has proved an expert at integrating cast changes on 'L & O', and we have to believe he'll iron all this out"
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