Law & Order came close, but had to settle with tying Gunsmoke. With a Season 21 renewal, Law & Order: SVU has officially become the longest-running live-action scripted television series in history. Overall, only The Simpsons has run longer on television to date with 30 seasons and counting.
“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.
Hargitay who’s played Lt. Olivia Benson since the beginning, also set a record. She is now the longest-running female character in a primetime live-action series. The 55-year-old actress spoke out about this historic achievement.
“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,” Hargitay said.