As shows slowly start to come back following the strikes, Law & Order: SVU is heading for a major anniversary. The upcoming season of the long-running procedural will be its 25th season, which is a serious deal for the beloved NBC procedural, to say the least. The great thing about this long run is that viewers have been able to see Mariska Hargitay‘s Olivia Benson grow as a character. Now, as the new episodes loom, the actress is discussing Benson’s evolution as well as how much longer she’d stick with the show.
When SVU began, Mariska Hargitay’s Benson was just a detective. Since then, she has been promoted numerous times, having held the titles of Lieutenant, Sergeant and now Captain, and it has definitely been incredible to see those changes. The actress spoke to People about Benson’s journey and about getting to the point where she experienced a “rebirth” of the character:
The actress has topped the list of Law & Order actors who have appeared in the most episodes, with almost 550 installments under her belt at this point. It goes without saying that she and Benson are vital to the L&O franchise, especially as far as SVU is concerned. Given the 59-year-old star has played Olivia Benson for 25 seasons now, you would think it would get tiring after a while. However, for Mariska Hargitay, slipping into Benson’s shoes is still quite comfortable for her, it seems. What she also seems to appreciate is the “parallel journey” that both she and her TV alter ego are on:
Since Law & Order: SVU is heading into its anniversary season, you can’t help but wonder just how much longer the actress will continue to play Benson, despite her love for the character’s evolution and role in female empowerment. It doesn’t even need to be said that 25 years is a long time to be on a show. However, when it comes to the notion of the procedural’s eventual end, Hargitay isn’t exactly seeing a light at the end of the tunnel:
While there likely will come a day when NBC announces that Law & Order: SVU is ending, it seems that, for right now, fans won’t have to worry about that happening any time soon. The show’s writers and EPs have managed to keep it fresh and interesting, even over 20 seasons in. This upcoming season will include Kelli Giddish’s return following her departure during Season 24. The exact role her character, Amanda Rollins, will play is unknown. Still, it will surely be exciting to see her reuniting with Benson, Fin and everyone else.
There’s also the fact that fans have been getting much more Benson and Stabler since Organized Crime came into the mix, and the former partners have been getting closer than ever. That should continue amid SVU Season 25 and OC’s Season 4. Maybe fans will finally get that true romance they’ve been wanting for so long?
Law & Order: SVU‘s new season will be here soon, which is exciting. It may still be unclear just when the show will conclude its run but, at present, I just appreciate that Mariska Hargitay is still in the fold and enjoying that she still gets to add new layers to Olivia Benson. The Season 25 premiere airs this Thursday, January 18 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC as part of the 2024 TV schedule.