Law & Order: SVU On the Bubble: Keep Or Cut?

Come mid-May (if not sometimes sooner), the networks will be making some tough calls as to which series will return for the 2012-13 TV season, and which … won’t. As we did last spring, TVLine is singling out select “bubble” shows to survey their prospects.

Next up is a veteran NBC procedural hoping to cop a 14th season.

THE SHOW | Law & Order: SVU (NBC)

THE TIME SLOT | Wednesdays at 10/9c

2012 Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Getting Axed? What’s on the Bubble?

THE CASE FOR KEEPING | Just call it The Comeback Kid! After what could have a been a series-ending shakeup (the departure of fan fave and front man Christopher Meloni), SVU somehow found a new footing. Whether it was through the addition of interesting new characters (most notably Danny Pino’s Det. Amaro), the introduction of a romantic interest (bravo, Harry Connick, Jr.) for the perpetually lovelorn Benson (Mariska Hargitay) or unfurling fresh takes on the special victims’ cases (Treat Williams’ emotional turn stands out), the show was arguably better for it. This is also the last of the Law & Order series still on the air, and to end this genre-changing lineage completely seems almost criminal. As long as tragic-yet-dramatic real-life crime continues to occur, SVU will have inspiration for exciting material. Plus, if the procedural continues even one more season, it could mean the difference between the return of Stabler (he would have to come back for a series finale, right?) and never getting a true and proper sendoff for the beloved family man detective.

THE CASE FOR CUTTING | SVU has certainly seen better days, and, after 13 years — a run which can only be deemed extremely successful — it might be time to shutter the always-busy sex crimes division. While Meloni’s departure was handled with more grace and ease than we ever thought possible, his absence is at times glaring and, so long as the series continues, might always be. Plus, it’s hard to ignore the all-time ratings lows the show has been delivering. Procedurals will forever be a part of TV vernacular, and the carrying on of SVU might be preventing us from finding the next great, gritty, solve-this-case-along-with-us cop drama.

More Keep or Cut Discussions: Fox’s Fringe? The CW’s Secret Circle?
NBC’s Whitney? ABC’s GCB? The CW’s Ringer?

Vote below, and then hit the comments to make your own case for keeping or cutting SVU.


TAGS:
GET MORE: Cancellations, Commentary, Keep Or Cut, Renewals

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165 Comments
  1. Ella says:

    Keep, but bring back Meloni. I miss him something fierce.

  2. Samantha says:

    Blame the lead in all you want, but the ratings are horrid. Warren Leight has an excuse for everything. It doesn’t bother me in the least that Meloni is gone. Stabler did nothing but yell and hit things. Mariska has been phoning it in for years, and the character of Benson hasn’t been Benson in YEARS. Harry Connick Jr’s character was a joke. They thought bringing him in would help things? They had no chemistry. Olivia and Bayard Ellis could’ve had something but they chose not to go that way for some reason. Ellis is the only man I’ve ever seen her have great chemistry with. Then they brought Cabot, Cutter and Novak back for 2 minutes of screentime thinking it would keep fans interested. We aren’t going to stick around if you aren’t going to use them. Let this show go.

  3. RS says:

    I think it has at least another year in it. The addition of Danny Pino has been so perfect that I’ve forgotten Stabler was ever on this show and haven’t missed him once. I can’t say the same about the female detective, but 1 out of 2 ain’t bad.

  4. Géraldine says:

    With more Stephanie March & Diane Neal as Alex Cabot & Casey Novak, I vote keep without hesitation!
    But I truly think that there is a 14th season, Kelli Giddish as Det. Amanda Rollins could be let outside. I know that what I’m going to say is rude but what did this character bring to the show? NOTHING. Plus the pair Benson/Amaro works very well without a third wheel.

  5. greysfan says:

    Gotta keep this one. Its one of NBC’s gems and despite the loss of Stabler i find this still very good drama.

  6. MARIAN G BAKER says:

    Bring Stabler back end the series with he marrying Benson and she pregnant with his baby.

    • Sam says:

      Yeah because that makes all kinds of sense & is what this show is about O_O KEEP DREAMING

    • Nikki S. says:

      Though that all sounds nice, most likely won’t happen LOL. I wouldn’t be too upset if Elliot came back a divorced man. So tired of that waning marriage thrown in our faces. Ha! Would make for some interesting material ontop of the tough crime aspect of the show. :D Oh well. WE can dream.

    • svufan says:

      You need to grow up. That would change the whole dynamics of their characters. Besides Liv is too old to get pregnant.

      • svufan says:

        I agree with you. They can’t hookup Benson and Stabler. That would change the whole characters we have known and loved. Stabler has and always will love Kathy and the kids. that is how they have portrayed him and to change it now would be senseless. Liv knows that El’s family means everything to him.

  7. KAJ says:

    I went into this current season with a huge bias against it. I really liked Stabler. I really liked Benson and Stabler, and I was very disappointed that their partnership was about to dissolve. Didn’t think I’d make it past the first episode. Imagine my surprise when I tuned in to the premier and… was actually still looking forward to next week. I’ll always miss Chris but I’m really enjoying the new detectives (Amaro and Rollins are BOTH interesting characters to me. Don’t understand all the negativity towards Rollins, TBH), and I’ll never get tired of Benson, Munch, and the rest of the vets. I do agree with others that we need to see more of the lawyers, though. Alex and Casey are always a joy to watch and I miss ‘em. The writing has really picked up this year and I’m enjoying the heck out of it (again, surprised!). Not really worried about it getting renewed. I can’t even see it as being on the bubble, really. None the less, I voted “Keep”.

  8. Uponebuck says:

    Keep , Everyone agrees S13 is a transition year. some new characters, new showrunner , new writers . You have to give another year to develop more stories for #SVU characters and impress us with more action. Give them and us a few seasons and they will be back at the top. NBC cannot cancel SVU which is their success show since 13 years. A new show is always a risk. #SVU4Ever.

    • Nikki S. says:

      You said it perfectly. Just because the show’s low rating’s are glaring doesn’t mean it’s not good stuff. #SVU is a proven hit. New stuff is just repetitive. :)

  9. Nikki S. says:

    “Plus, it’s hard to ignore the all-time ratings lows the show has been delivering.” <<– I hate how that's worded. The show doesn't deliver viewers, the one's who are too closed minded to watch are the ones NOT delivering viewership to some of the best SVU since Season 8. I love Stabler, EO, SVU, doesn't mean the show's material isn't quality without him.

  10. Isabelle C says:

    I vote Renew , keep for 2 years .at least.

    I have watched and rewatched SVU for years. I always said SVU made like a movie in an hour timeframe.

    We all agree that this year was a transition year because if changes in cast , writers , showrunner etc This year was the first one where all these changes were upon us all at once and it is tough for everyone. @Warrenleight spent soo much time on twitter explaining all the changes, giving out hints on episodes and being a funny too.

    Most of the cast and crew are one twitter and make all fans and crew feel like a big family. Isn’t this what a show should be , entertainment , the show world and the real world, together. All for us to appreciate.

    Storylines are as diversed and always bring unexpected twists along the way. They are also very glued to the realityy of SVU crimes. Yes it it hard and emotinal to watch.

    I love to see the acting on SVU of the guests , stars and our talented cast members. We tend to forget that this is all about telling a story and great acting.

    Hoping that NBC does renew SVU as it has represented the best work of procedural type of shows .All other procedural shows are fade copies of this one.

    Yes NBC has to bring in new shows, capture new audiences, They just have to find the best shows and casts and work a great schedule. THey lacked this formula in past years.

    This year I would have kept Prime Suspect followed by SVU. Who am I , just a fan.

    So Keep SVU and build shows around it.

    Oh yeah , bring some more tough action to SVU, chases , shootouts , situations that put us on the edge out or seats. I always said SVU made like a movie in an hour timeframe.

    #SVU4Ever fans.

    @Uponebuck

  11. Isabelle C says:

    If I can I will add to my previous comments..

    Dear NBC ,

    Remember when NBC had all of these Super TV evenings, like 3 great different shows in a row, The TV channel stayed on NBC all evening.

    One night was comedy night , another night was Drama night , and one night of the week was *let us inform you* , The Cosby , The netowrk was a sensation.

    Nowadays they work with focus groups and try to please everyone a the same time.

    Viewers haven’t changed , when a show is a hit , they regroup together and watch.
    ,

    1) Give them 3 different great shows in a row and your prime time of the day is a hit.

    2) Give them variety , music , drama , information , New shows.

    3) Give new shows time to gain audiences and STOP jerking their schedule around!!!

    4) Give them shows that have hsitory like SVU and new ones too.

    5) Stop the Focus group and thinking that vieweres are not loyal, we don’t spent the evening zapping channels aroung. We have a great show , the channel stays there.

    5a) *** Viewers have habits and build their daily schedule around their favorite shows ****

    6) viewers stick with their shows the love, love to see the characters evolve and are not soo volatile with the zapper.

    7) Give new shows time to gain audiences and STOP jerking their schedule around!!!

    8) I an sure NBC will find a ways to build theme days like they used to have 10 years back and keep viewers locked into their channel for the evening. The Cosby show then another hit show etc.

    Cheers to all viewers and show producers , cast and crews.

    @Uponebuck

  12. Nicole says:

    You all r crazy…. SVU rocks, Benson kicks ass. I say keep it and get rid of other loser shows. I’ve only became a fan in the last couple years and I think it is a wonderful show with hard hitting stories. These things happen in real life, only the perp doesn’t always get cought. BUT on SVU Benson alwaysgets the bad guy….. KEEP IT

    • Isabelle C says:

      74% of people responded to the poll that they want the show back , to keep it.
      Why is this crazy?
      We are all saying that NBC renews the show.

  13. Normandy Lee says:

    I actually like this show. It goes to show what the world is really coming too. I am 16 today and have been watching this show for as long as I can remember. I remember being 11 or 12 sitting in my kitchen and watching this show til my mother made me turn it off and go to bed. I would like to keep this show!!!!

  14. ariala says:

    If Harry Connick Jr comes back, I’ll watch it.

  15. rebecca says:

    I think that Olivia isn’t Olivia without Elliot. I think the heart of the show was the two of them in whatever form you want, partners. Best friends. Her secretly in love with him. Whatever it is… It just isn’t the same. I think if they wanted to Change the whole direction of the show they should have started something new. Let it rest. Tho mariska hargitay is still brilliant… I have to say cut because It’s just not svu. Like happy days without the fonz there’s no svu without e/o.

  16. rebecca says:

    Why couldn’t they have given fin and Munch especially Munch, more screen time. In stead of getting new ppl use the old ones more. It’s like their invisible. They were as loyal to the show as Elliot and Olivia. I think that just sucks.

  17. Jeremy Ferguson says:

    I hope that they renew this series for another season. Why? Because as people say it is the last law & order series that is still on tv and I myself would like to see it continue. I don’t know if anyone else agrees with me or not but I really don’t care if you don’t it’s ok to watch you just have to like cop shows and I do there really isn’t that much to watch on tv anymore. I really hope that they decide to bring back BD Wong & Meloni all of the originals are great at least I thought so.

  18. As I am from the united kingdom we get SVU later than America but I think this show should be kept as it is one of the best shows that have been filmed. Mariska makes the show and yes it’s sad that Chris left but the show still goes on with new people Axing this show will be sad as there is a huge following and why disappoint the public that enjoy it. Axing other shows that have been broadcast in this country has made us more determined to fight for this show to be kept on our screens. So please keep it going ………

  19. JB says:

    The writing and storylines are better than they have been in years, and the ratings are still better than Criminal Intent were for several years before they cancel it. Every Law & Order series has been faced with new detectives at some point during its run. People just need to learn to accept change. Most of the people who hate on the show just don’t want to even give it a chance because they were so attached to Stabler.

    Also, to the people who are disgusted and uncomfortable watching the show – you have a remote for a reason. Change the channel or don’t watch it at all.

    Bottom line: keep it.

  20. Alex says:

    KEEP IT OR DIE

  21. lauren says:

    I love this show, but know that they have recasted and got rid of Stabler the show isn’t the same and not even worth watching anymore.

  22. Jill says:

    SVU has to stay, I don’t know what I’d do with my Wednesday nights with out it.

  23. MorbidPet says:

    I don’t miss Stabler at all. Amaro & Rollins are awesome (Rollins & Ice-T a real treat). Can’t wait for next season. It’s a keeper for sure.

  24. Paul says:

    We love this show!! My husband and i have watch every single episod of Law and order SVU…… Please keep it on the air!!!!

  25. chad says:

    Are you kidding this is the best show on. Don’t lose what you have NBC. Ratings will plummet. Stupid move to end this show.

  26. Rihanna says:

    Ive actually loved this show for a long time and i think it should stay so okd people can have something to watch my grandma watches the reruns all the time

  27. Make Money says:

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post and the rest of the site is extremely good.

  28. Sandy says:

    KEEP!! SVU is my favourite favourite favourite show. It’s the only show I guarantee watch every week :) and since meeting my boyfriend 5 years ago he now is addicted!! We Too thought the show was going to go down the drain after stabler left had no idea how they were going to replace him but we were surprised and love it just as much as we used to!!

  29. Jessica says:

    Haha wow ok I been watching this show since it aired and I watched it the 13th season it was actually good those of you saying that the show pretty much sucks without stabler your completely out of your minds the only thing thats disgusting is that they are people out there who rape torcher murder sexually abuse prey on women and children guess what people wake up that stuff really does happened real life isn’t a fairly tale I am a surviving rape victim and the only reason I told my parents and the police is cause of this show this is the only crime show I watch religiously I vote keep it all the way we found out alot about stabler now I believe it’s Olivia turn

  30. aniya says:

    bring stabler back and the old set the oldshows were better withhim and martiska

  31. littleredbitesback13 says:

    Ugggh i only watch reruns now becuz of no elliot stabler. They shoula just cut the show the second meloni quit it totally sucks without him i love the show but without elliot its just not the same </3

  32. Sandy Tusing says:

    I so wish Stabler could come back. The chemistry between him and Benson was awesome. The show isn’t the same without him:( You coukd just feel the connection in everything they did.

  33. Stabler says:

    This show should be cancelled. First of all, Benson is nothing without Stabler. She is boring. She use the same facial expression in sex, romance, talkin to the capitan, happy, etc.

  34. Zafira says:

    I like this show… definitely a “keep”.

  35. Maddy says:

    I love love love this show! I am interested in doing CSI when I get older and this show is very detailed. This and Bones are by far the best shows on televsiom because not only do they show the forensics and investigations behind crimes, they also show the friendships with the coworkers. Keep keep keep!!

  36. Monica cisneros says:

    svu is an awesome show an should be kept on the nbc lineup. Olivia is an icon to women and encourages women of all ages to be strong and stand up for themselves.

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