About the Show
This hard-hitting and emotional series from NBC's "Law & Order" brand chronicles the life and crimes of the Special Victims Unit of the New York Police Department, the elite squad of detectives who investigate sexually based crimes. Created by Emmy Award-winning producer Dick Wolf, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" is now entering its twelfth season. The program has received numerous citations from community-based organizations for the social issues it tackles, and the cast members are frequently recognized for the work they do off-screen to promote personal health and safety and other volunteer efforts and initiatives.
The drama follows Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni), a seasoned veteran of the unit who has seen it all, and his partner, Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), whose difficult past -- a product of rape -- is the reason she joined the unit. Meloni is recognized as one of the most versatile actors today, taking on challenging and diverse roles in both television and film. He is well known for his portrayal of the duplicitous inmate Chris Keller on HBO's critically praised series "Oz." He moved to the right side of the law, however, on "Law & Order: SVU" where he was nominated for his first Emmy Award in 2006 as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
In 2010, Hargitay (Detective Benson) garnered her seventh Emmy nomination for Lead Actress in a Drama Series, and won the 2006 Emmy for that category. In 2006, she received her third SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for her portrayal of Detective Benson. In 2005, Hargitay earned her first Golden Globe Award for Lead Actress in a Drama Series for the role and her second Emmy nomination; and in 2004, both an Emmy and a SAG nomination in the same category.
Captain Donald Cragen, (Dann Florek, reprising the role he played on the first three seasons of "Law & Order" 1990-1993), oversees the unit with his tough but supportive approach to the team's complex cases, guiding the squad through the challenges they face every day. Detective John Munch, (Richard Belzer, "Homicide: Life on the Street"), a transfer from Baltimore's homicide unit, brings his acerbic wit, conspiracy theories and street-honed investigative skills to the team. And his partner, Detective Odafin "Fin" Tutuola (Ice-T), adds his unique sense of humor and investigative experience, making him a formidable match for Munch.
Forensic psychiatrist, George Huang (B.D. Wong), whose insight into the minds of the accused often provides significant clues that lead to the resolution of a case, and Medical Examiner Melinda Warner (Tamara Tunie) lend their skills to uncover forensic evidence.
2010 marked another year in which "SVU" was acknowledged for its guest players, with Ann Margret winning an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. In 2009, Ellen Burstyn, Brenda Blethyn, and Carol Burnett were all nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series as well. In 2008, Cynthia Nixon won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, and Robin Williams earned a nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for their guest roles on "SVU". Leslie Caron was also awarded an Emmy at the 2007 Creative Arts Emmys for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." In 2007, the 19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards nominated 'SVU's' "Sin" for an Outstanding Individual Episode. In addition, Richard Belzer was nominated for a 2007 People's Choice Award for Favorite Scene Stealing Star, and "Law & Order: SVU" was nominated for Best Drama.
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" is a Wolf Films production in association with Universal Media Studios. Wolf, is creator and executive producer, Neal Baer (NBC's "ER," "China Beach"), Ted Kotcheff ("Fun with Dick and Jane," "Weekend at Bernie's") and Peter Jankowski are executive producers.