LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT: Warren Leight Offers a Season 23 Tease - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT: Warren Leight Offers a Season 23 Tease

June 10, 2021 by  

svu season 23 spoilers

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT — “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing” Episode 22016 — Pictured: Demore Barnes as Deputy Chief Christian Garland — (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT has covered a lot in its first 22 years, but the 2020-2021 season was unlike any other, as the show also had to contend with deeply serious real-life issues.

“[Going into season 22,] it was pretty clear to me early on we’re going to write about COVID in New York and a post-George Floyd world; those were the two big, huge overarching things,” SVU showrunner Warren Leight says. “We’re beginning to see [the fallout of that] in our world that SVU takes place in, the world of sexual politics in America, what’s going on. So we want to find what the themes will be for next year based on, as always, what we think is going on in the world.”

And some of the groundwork for that was set in the finale, as Chief Garland (Demore Barnes) discovered he was being exiled and punished by his bosses for attempting to enact change in the NYPD…a stand that also caused him to take a brief leave of absence in the aftermath of it taking a physical toll on his body.

“Garland maybe thought the world was going to change, and he’s dealing with a world that is resistant,” Leight notes. “And that might be a starting point for us for next season.”

The long-running drama will have another big thing on the horizon: the milestone 500th episode.

“We have begun to talk about episode 500, but I can’t say more than that,” Leight teases. “I think we have a pretty cool idea for that.”

And while some shows in larger franchises have celebrated their milestone installments with multi-show crossovers, Leight is hoping SVU’s hour will be a standalone.

“I would like at least part of the 500th to be [ours]…sometimes it’s nice to have it be your birthday party and not a group birthday party,” he jokes. “It’s okay for people to come to the party, but it feels like 500 is an insane milestone. And so I would hope we have a moment to acknowledge it. Obviously, in the episode, we won’t say happy 500—but maybe I will look for a way to cheat that in.”



The showrunner is excited about NBC’s new LAW & ORDER block this fall, which finds SVU sandwiched between new series LAW & ORDER: FOR THE DEFENSE and the sophomore season of LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME on Thursday nights.

“I’m grateful to have a block like that,” Leight says. “I have no idea how many different lead-ins SVU has had since Stabler left; I couldn’t tell you. And most of them, through nobody’s fault, were not the most compatible, necessarily. So, the idea of having LAW & ORDER Thursday…if my mom were alive, she would have loved it, because she gets to see her programs.”

“It’s nice to know we’re surrounded by well-chosen shows, surrounded by friends,” he continues. “We haven’t had that. Sometimes it’s felt like we’ve been alone on the beach, protecting the fort. And it’s kind of nice to have a friend that has our back.”

An added benefit? “You get more attention,” he admits. “It’s nice. I will say Dick Wolf had this vision. Dick sees like 30 years into the future. I imagine he saw this coming years ahead of everybody, just waiting for everybody to catch up. So that’ll be kind of thrilling. [ORGANIZED CRIME showrunner Ilene Chaiken and FOR THE DEFENSE showrunner Carol Mendelsohn,] they’re great writers and they have fresh voices. In a way, it makes us up our game—we don’t want to be like the old brownstone on the block.”

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Filed under Law & Order, SVU

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