Beginning on Feb. 4, 2017, and continuing through the weekend, “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” will show the countdown to the 400th Episode. NBC will air Season 18, Episode 10, “Motherly Love,” on Wednesday, Feb. 8., at 8/9:00 p.m. CT.
The show is part of the Law and Order franchise. The namesake program was canceled in 2011 after 20 successful seasons. The Special Victims Unit spinoff is about an “elite squad of NYPD detectives who investigate sexually related crimes,” and premiered in 1999.
“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” Premieres in 1999
The USA Network will air the countdown start with “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” Season 1, Episode 1, at 10/9:00 a.m CT. “Payback” first aired on Sept. 20, 1999. Viewers were introduced to Elliot Stabler, Olivia Benson, Captain Donald Cragen, and John Munch.
Many of the characters, on “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” changed throughout the 18 years of the program’s life.
- Mariska Hargitay, as Benson, is the only actress who is still on the show. She has 402 episodes under her belt. Benson is the child of a rape, and she was raped in an incredibly intense episode. Through the years, she dated many men but never married. Hargitay’s character adopted baby Noah, who was orphaned.
- Christopher Meloni, as Stabler, was in Special Victims Unit from its inception through 2011. Viewers seemed to love this bad-boy detective, through the years his TV family was scattered throughout the program.
- Dann Florek, as Captain Cragen, left the show in 2015. His character was active in AA and sometimes struggled with his sobriety.
- Between 1999 and 2016, Richard Belzer, as John Munch contributed to 326 shows. He was a skeptic and offered conspiracy theories, even if no one asked.
- Ice-T’s character joined the cast in 2000, as Odafin “Fin” Tutuola. He appeared in 380 episodes of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.”
- BD Wong, as Dr. George Huang, portrayed a psychologist on loan to the Special Victims Unit from the FBI. He appeared in 230 shows between 2001-2015. Like the actor, the character was a gay man.
- The medical examiner, Dr. Melinda Warner, played by Tamera Tunie, was a member of the cast between 2000 and 2015.
- Baby Noah, played by twins, Bradley and Skyler Dubow joined the cast in Season 15; 2013. According to Fandom, Bradley is the twin who is the primary actor. His full name is Noah Porter-Benson and his storyline is complicated.
Special Victims Unit’s Fin and Son
“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” had another gay character. Fin’s son, Kwasi “Kenneth” Randall, played by Ernest Wadell. In one episode Randall is subject to investigation, by the SVU detectives, after he was found digging up a body. Fin spent the episode dealing with the angst a parent suffers when their child in trouble. It was especially difficult for the detective, who was somewhat estranged from his son.
Eventually, Randall revealed his sexual orientation and Fin had difficulty accepting that his son is gay. During one of the final seasons Wadell was in, his character found true love and married. By this time, his TV dad had come around and celebrated his son’s happiness.
“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” Through the Years
Many famous actors and actresses made cameo appearances in almost every episode through the years. Some of them found themselves repeating their characters from time-to-time. Judith Light was one, she portrayed Judge Elizabeth Donnelly. During an eight-year stretch, she appeared in 22 episodes.
Chris Orbach played Detective Ken Briscoe in Special Victims Unit 12 times between 1999 and 2012. His father, Jerry portrayed Lenny Briscoe on “Law and Order” for 12 years until his death in 2004.
Other stars providing interesting characters on “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” included the likes of Serena Williams, John Ritter, Hayden Panettiere, Whoopi Goldberg, Frank Langella, and Martin Short. These are 7 of the 37 famous stars who brought their talents to the squad, according to Business Insider.
After 18 years we’ve seen everyone from Academy Award winners to teen heartthrobs. In New York City, the dedicated actors who (sometimes) commit these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the guest stars of SVU.
Season 18 Cast Members on ” Law and Order: Special Victims Unit”
Joining Ice-T and Hargitay are three others. Detective Amanda Rollins, played by Kelli Giddish; Peter Scanavino, as Detective Sonny Carisi; and playing ADA Rafael Barba is Raul Esparza.
Lieutenant Benson heads the Special Victims Unit with efficient leadership skills but still manages to portray the genial Olivia fans are used to watching. Rollins joined the team in 2007, Barba in 2012 and in 2013, Carisi.
The 400th episode of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” was directed by Hargitay. “Motherly Love” is a story about a young man who protects his mom from someone attacking her. However, in an interesting twist, that person is someone he knows.
By Cathy Milne
IMDb: Law and Order: Special Victims Unit Cast
IMDb: Law and Order: Special Victims Unit Season 18, Episode 10
NBC: Law and Order: SVU Cast and Episodes
Business Insider: The 37 most famous guest stars who have ever been on ‘Law & Order: SVU’
All Images Courtesy of NBCUniversal – Used With Permission