First episode with S. Epatha Merkerson as Lt. Anita Van Buren and Jill Hennessy as ADA Claire Kincaid.
The sudden exits of Dann Florek as Capt. Donald Cragen and Richard Brooks as ADA Paul Robinette are not discussed in this episode (nor, in fact, the entire season); in later episodes we learn that Robinette has gone into private practice and that Capt. Cragen has transferred into another unit before ending up at SVU.
Episode title: Sweeps.
The term Sweeps describes the period of television programing between the months of November, February, May and (of lesser importance) July. during this periods eagerly awaited episodes are aired in order to boost television ratings.