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The higher the ratings (particularly the 18-49 demo), the better the chances for survival.

This chart will be updated as new ratings data becomes available — usually the next day, around am EST/am PST. 2/5 update: NBC has renewed this series for a 17th season for 2015-16. Final season averages: 1.62 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 7.31 million total viewers.

Each version of Law & Order focuses on different detectives.

The detectives' personal lives and reactions to cases are as compelling as the crimes themselves. Like the other Law & Order shows, SVU frequently bases episodes on real-life crimes that are in the news.

which are as follows: Goldblum/Burrows/Mastrantonio: See how lonely the , the one immediately following this season, Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe returned to to reprise their roles. ), who also left after one go-round because the job was too taxing. There's just no getting around it: The best cast in the history of the , after Ice-T and Richard Belzer joined and before Christopher Meloni left.

Martin/Govich: In other one-season news, when Dennis Farina left the show, Jesse L. It was almost criminal (heh) to have both Jeff Goldblum and Vincent D'Onofrio on the same show, not to mention alongside the wondrousness that is Eric Bogosian. Never has a young black (gay) man gotten along so well with an old white man! Not only is this particular iteration of the show great because the crimes are always "of a sexual nature," and therefore salacious, but there was always a wonderful quiet sexual tension between Stabler (Meloni) and Benson (Mariska Hargitay).

Detective Stabler struggles to deal professional with the criminals he encounters.

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.

These are the Live Same Day Ratings which include “live” viewing plus delayed DVR viewing, up until 3am local time that same night.

Ratings marked with an “*” are the fast affiliate ratings and will be updated with the Live SD numbers when they are made available.

Martin was promoted to lead detective, and Milena Govich came on as the original character of all time in some polls. But you have to hand it to Martin for continuing to fight the good fight. Epatha Merkerson can't even stand appropriately close to the group. The show was canceled after this season (its twentieth), which I still thing was a massive mistake. would have just replaced everyone but Sisto and Anderson and let us all reboot. The show seemed convinced she was the most beautiful woman in the world, whereas Kathryn Erbe only got to play an undercover hooker like, once, and she was gorgeous too! Rey Curtis was brought in to replace Chris Noth's Michael Logan (who many viewers found to be "too similar" to Jerry Orbach's Lennie Briscoe), and to sex up the show. (However, just imagine if D'Onofrio had been partnered with Jerry Orbach—how effing hilarious would that have been? Stabler had the best thousand-yard stare this side of Henry Rollins.

Both casts had their good points, but overall, they caused some dark days in the criminal justice system. Orbach would have been constantly telling D'Onfrio to calm down.) Vincent D'Onofrio is the shit, but this version of definitely made me question its setup, wherein Kathryn Erbe's only job seemed to be to ask one question and then stare at D'Onofrio so that his character, Detective Robert Goren, could mindf*ck the perp. Benson has a bizarre backstory (she's the product of a rape! Tutola (Ice-T) and Munch (Belzer) were—and still are—an amazing twosome.

Look, you're kind of a good actor, Dennis Farina, but you look ridiculous, and you are a poor Jerry Orbach replacement. Can't you just imagine Farina's Joe Fontana going to interrogate "urban youths" and cracking racist jokes to them? Martin left for a bit to be in the movie version of , and was temporarily replaced with Michael Imperioli. Sisto's Cyrus Lupo was actually a pretty tremendous, gravel-voiced detective, but I couldn't dig on Anthony Anderson. Plus you've got the no-nonsense Medical Examiner Melinda Warner (Tamara Tunie) and the scene-stealing psychologist Dr.

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