‘Law & Order: SVU’ season 17 finale: Mariska Hargitay tributes outgoing showrunner Warren Leight

Benson -Wednesday night’s season 17 finale of “Law & Order: SVU” is really more than just the standard episode of the series; it also marks the final opportunity that we’re going to have in which to see showrunner Warren Leight’s work within this world. His departure was announced many weeks ago, and while this is likely far from the last we’ll see of him, this is still a pretty emotional occasion.

You see, at this point Leight deserves a rather extraordinary amount of credit for the modern evolution of “SVU” as a series. He entered at a time of great uncertainty, with Christopher Meloni departing the show, and brought great stability. He introduced Noah to the world, gave us much more in the way of professional success for Benson, and also brought out some of the most harrowing storylines we have seen on the show. He’s been unafraid to tackle hard topics, and also deal with heavy transitions. We’ve also see many other cast members department during this time, and he’s been able to handle this without the show missing a beat.

When you look at his resume, it’s easy to understand why Mariska Hargitay would be so sad to see him go. Here’s specifically what she had to say on the subject to The Hollywood Reporter:

“This last episode was such a difficult episode for all of us. We were all crying through the read-through – the read-through! That’s never happened. This is the time at the end of the season when we are all just incredibly exhausted and its hard. Warren poured his heart into the season finale, incredibly moving, incredibly powerful. This spirit of the show is the same and yet, the evolution has been so invigorating and inspiring to me.”

We’ll be back tonight to cover the finale more extensively, and see if it is just as emotional for us to watch as it was for the cast to film. You can watch a sneak peek for it here, and be sure to also sign up over at this link to get some other TV news on all we cover, sent right over to you via our official CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: NBC.)

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