Watch Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Law & Order is one of America's favorite franchises. This police procedural has spawned numerous spin-offs, including Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Each version of Law & Order focuses on different detectives. The detectives' personal lives and reactions to cases are as compelling as the crimes themselves. SVU focuses on Detectives Stabler and Benson. Like the other Law & Order shows, SVU frequently bases episodes on real-life crimes that are in the news.

Detective Elliot Stabler was one of the most popular characters on the show. A married man with several children of his own, he occasionally took cases personally, displaying a violent temper. Detective Stabler struggles to deal professional with the criminals he encounters. He admits to fantasizing about hurting the people he arrests and is almost removed from the force when he reveals this. His experience raising his own children has made him good at relating to child victims he encounters while working cases. Despite his bad temper and occasional poor judgment, many viewers can relate to Detective Stabler and his disgust at the criminals he arrests and interviews.

Detective Olivia Benson is Detective Stabler's partner for most of the show. She balances his anger towards criminals with her own compassion for sexual victims. Detective Benson eventually reveals that her childhood was not happy due to an alcoholic mother and an absent father. Benson's tragic past led her to work for the Special Victims Unit. Many female viewers see Detective Benson as a positive role model.

Other detectives and support staff feature heavily in the series. Like other Law & Order shows, the detectives have close relationships with the NYPD's medical examiner and the New York District Attorney's office. Viewers love watching the characters grow over the course of the show, but the ultimate draw of Law & Order is seeing each week's criminal caught and brought to justice. SVU adds something extra to the formula by showcasing "especially heinous" crimes in every episode.

Wednesday 9:00 PM et/pt on NBC
18 Seasons, 391 Episodes - Currently Airing
October 26, 1999
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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Full Episode Guide

  • Benson is faced with a moral dilemma when a sergeant's son is accused of rape.

  • An athlete's double life could destroy her Olympic career and the case against the man who sexually assaulted her; Rollins sister is out on parole.

  • When a man lures a vulnerable married woman to bed, Barba believes the evidence amounts to rape.

  • After spending nearly two decades in prison, a convicted rapist is exonerated due to newly tested DNA evidence. But only a day later, Fin is called to the scene of a shocking crime and must find the now "free" man.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit News

'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' Season 14, Episode 16: 'Funny Valentine' Recap

An up-and-coming singer is beaten by her famous boyfriend, but she won't assist the prosecution. This episode is said to mirror the relationship of Rihanna and Chris Brown. See what the controversial episode is all about.

'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' Season 14, Episode 15: 'Deadly Ambition' Recap

Rollins' sister makes a return visit, and this time she's battered and pregnant. When the situation escalates, Rollins resorts to dire actions, leading Internal Affairs to open up an investigation.

'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' Season 14, Episode 14: 'Secrets Exhumed' Recap

Detective Olivia Benson reunites with an old colleague to reopen a 25-year-old cold case. But things don't go as planned. Will Olivia have to betray a friend in the name of justice?

'Law & Order: SVU' Season 14, Episode 13: 'Monster's Legacy' Recap

Mike Tyson and Ed Asner guest star as the detectives struggle to uncover a past history of sexual abuse. Reggie Rhodes is set to be executed, but can some recent revelations set him free in time?

Is Coco In More Trouble With Ice-T?

The rapper who stirred up trouble between Ice-T and Coco is reportedly shopping around photos of Coco that will prove much more damaging to her marriage than the last batch.

'Law & Order: SVU' Gets 14th Season Renewal

Give Dick Wolf's baby credit where it's due: not every show survives long after losing an iconic lead. Despite Christopher Meloni's season 13 departure, NBC has given a 14th "Law & Order: SVU" season the thumbs-up for Fall 2012. "I'll be back. I can't leave this show. I'm having too much fun," said star Mariska Hargitay.

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