Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is coming back for another season – and making history while doing so.
The long-running hit series was renewed for a 21st season by NBC as of Friday (March 29), extending past its 20-season record previously shared with Law & Order (the original series) and Gunsmoke.
The Simpsons is the only show that has run longer on television to date.
Law & Order: SVU is a spinoff that premiered in 1999 and stars Mariska Hargitay
“We tip our cap to Dick Wolf, Mariska Hargitay and the amazing cast and crew of SVU, who now all go into the record book. This incredible run is an example of what happens when producers, writers and actors all come together and create a show that, year after year, speaks to its audience in a powerful way. We couldn’t be more proud of this remarkable achievement,” said NBC execs Paul Telegdy and George Cheeks in a statement.
Mariska‘s character, Lt. Olivia Benson, is now the longest-running female character in a primetime live-action series.
“I’m deeply proud to be a part of this groundbreaking show, and humbled to make television history today. The longevity and continued success of SVU is a testament not only to the show’s powerful storytelling and ability to connect with viewers, but to its necessity. We have told important stories for 20 years, and we will continue to tell them,” Mariska said.