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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Season 1 Season 2 »
S-1 | S-2 | S-3 | S-4 | S-5 | S-6 | S-7 | S-8 | S-9 | S-10 | S-11 | S-12 | S-13 | S-14 | S-15

Season 1
Originally called Sex Crimes, executive producer Dick Wolf wisely opted for something less lurid when the second in the inexhaustible Law & Order franchise hit the air in 1999. Still, as the opening voiceover makes clear, the "sexually based offenses" investigated by New York's Special Victims Unit can be "especially heinous."
Wolf penned series premier "Payback," which sets the scene, but not the tone. It's a lively, if uneasy mix between horror (rape) and comedy (risqué banter). As the show progressed, humor would be written out altogether (leaving Richard Belzer's Homicide-derived John Munch with increasingly less to do). Less emphasis would also be placed on the home lives of this "elite squad of dedicated detectives." Mostly, "Payback" introduces us to the unit, centering around partners Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni). For two people with so little in common, they make a terrific team--arguably one of TV's best. Stabler is married with four children; Benton is single and her closest relationship is with her mother (Elizabeth Ashley). While Stabler can get a little rough with suspects, Benton tends to over-empathize with the victims. They report to the no-nonsense Captain Cragen (Law & Order vet Dann Florek). Like the parent program's Lenny Briscoe, he's a recovering alcoholic. Dean Winters and Michelle Hurd round out the rock-solid cast.

As it would continue to do in successive years, SVU's first season proved that network TV could explore sex crimes without being salacious or exploitative. "Uncivilized," for instance, concerns a child murder that is automatically pinned on a local sex offender, when the actual perpetrator isn't quite so obvious. "Disrobed," in which Brian Cassidy (Winters) leaves the department and Benson (with whom he had a brief affair) shoots a suspect is another standout in a strong year.
General Info
Season: 1
Score:
  • Currently 9/10
9/10 (2 Votes cast)
Name: Season 1
Broadcast Information: Monday at 09:00 pm on NBC
Season 1 Cast
Christopher MeloniplayedDetective Elliot Stabler (22 eps)
Mariska HargitayplayedSergeant Olivia Benson (22 eps)
Richard BelzerplayedSergeant John Munch (22 eps)
Michelle HurdplayedDetective Monique Jeffries (9 eps)
Dann FlorekplayedCaptain Donald Cragen (22 eps)
Steven ZirnkiltonplayedOpening Narration (uncredited) (22 eps)
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All Seasons
Season Ep # Name Started Ended Network Vote Revs Full Info
1 22 Season 1 Sep/20/1999 May/21/2000 NBC 9 / 10 0 View
2 21 Season 2 Oct/20/2000 May/11/2001 NBC 9 / 10 0 View
3 23 Season 3 Sep/28/2001 May/17/2002 NBC 9 / 10 0 View
4 25 Season 4 Sep/27/2002 May/16/2003 NBC 9 / 10 0 View
5 25 Season 5 Sep/23/2003 May/18/2004 NBC 9 / 10 0 View
6 23 Season 6 Sep/21/2004 May/24/2005 NBC 9 / 10 0 View
7 22 Season 7 Sep/20/2005 May/16/2006 NBC 9 / 10 0 View
8 22 Season 8 Sep/19/2006 May/22/2007 NBC 9 / 10 0 View
9 19 Season 9 Sep/25/2007 May/13/2008 NBC 8.5 / 10 0 View
10 22 Season 10 Sep/23/2008 Jun/02/2009 NBC 9 / 10 0 View
11 24 Season 11 Sep/23/2009 May/19/2010 NBC 9 / 10 0 View
12 24 Season 12 Sep/22/2010 May/18/2011 NBC 9.5 / 10 0 View
13 23 Season 13 Sep/21/2011 May/23/2012 NBC 9.5 / 10 0 View
14 23 Season 14 Sep/26/2012 May/22/2013 NBC 9.5 / 10 0 View
15 22 Season 15 Sep/25/2013 May/21/2014 NBC 9 / 10 0 View
Warning: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit guide may contain spoilers
Classification: Scripted
Genre: Action | Crime | Drama
Status: Returning Series
Network: NBC ( USA)
Airs: Wednesdays at 09:00 pm
Runtime: 60 Minutes
Premiere: September 20, 1999
Episode Order: 24
This guide is currently edited by:
wmulder (Challenge)

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