A ray of light is bringing hope to Law & Order: SVU and the possibility of a Season 14 now that Mariska Hargitay has signed a new deal with NBC, ensuring her presence on the show if it is renewed for next season. Her presence is likely paramount to a renewal, since they already lost Christopher Meloni last year when they couldn’t come up with a good enough deal for him. If they were to lose Hargitay a year later, I would say it would be lights out for the 13-year old series.
According to THR, Hargitay’s deal will add a whopping $500,000 to her bank account every episode. It’s also worth noting that just because Hargitay has signed a deal to return it doesn’t mean SVU will be renewed. Viewership has gone down considerably since Meloni made his exit after 12 years on the show, and it doesn’t look like the show will be able to recover. Hargitay made her decision to stay with the show based on the direction it’s been heading. She enjoys the new castmembers, Danny Pino and Kelli Giddish, as well as new showrunner Warren Leight. Unfortunately, the audience hasn’t been sharing her enthusiasm, with the latest episode having dropped 6 percent in the key demographic of adults 18-49, landing a series low rating of 1.6.
Still, despite the numbers going down, this is a show that has been on for 13 years! NBC won’t just cancel the show. I think they’ll give it another year for audiences to get used to the idea of Meloni-less SVU. Maybe they just don’t like seeing Hargitay’s Benson having romantic relationships. She’s had a couple of men her life this season, played by Harry Connick Jr. and Andre Braugher. SVU has definitely been trying new things and should be rewarded for doing so. But that’s just my point of view. Does anyone out there think the show has run its course and should be put of its misery? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!