NBC has renewed veteran procedural Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for a sixteenth season.
The sole remaining remnant of the once vast Law & Order franchise, SVU had been widely expected to swing a renewal for next season. The only concerns in that regards were the cost of the series, which so long into its run is rather expensive; and the fact that series lead Mariska Hargitay’s contract was up this year. NBC recently worked out a new contract with showrunner Warren Leight and addressed budget concerns with Dick Wolf, all of which assured today’s renewal.
Law & Order: SVU remains a fairly solid player for NBC, even so late in its run. The show’s fifteenth season has been averaging 8 million viewers and a 2.5 A18-49 rating. That despite some controversial cast shake ups this past season, with long time stars Richard Belzer, who played Sergeant John Munch; and Dann Florek, who played Captain Don Cragen departing earlier this year.
With the renewal, Dick Wolf’s current roster of shows on NBC remains in tact, with both Chicago Fire and Chicago PD earning early renewals from NBC execs back in March 2014. In fact, there was talk earlier this year of the possibility of yet another Chicago spin-off centered around the staff of a hospital, but talk of such a spin-off cooled rather quickly.