Ratings Bubble Report: The chances of a ‘Law & Order: SVU’ season 19

Law & Order: SVU logo“Law & Order: SVU” is a show that we cover extensively at CarterMatt, and we will for however long the show is on the air.

Now that we’ve said that, you do have to start asking the question at this time of the year: Is season 18 the show’s last? Will there be a chance to see further compelling cases down the line? We’re obviously hopeful, and there are plenty of reasons to believe that there will be a season 19. (Personally, we’ve already made our stance clear that we want to see the show reach at the very least the 20-season threshold that the flagship “Law & Order” hit.)

The most obvious reason to bring the show back is simple: Look at the ratings. In an age where the majority of primetime shows on network TV are down 10-15% in adults 18-49 year to year (in live+same day figures), this show is down only 7% to date. That’s tremendous staying power. If you remember, season 17 in turn was down only 1% from season 16. If you are an #SVUDiehard, you’re doing a great job living up to that billing. You watch, and you often watch live. You’ve built a community out of watching the show and turning new episodes into appointment TV.

To make matters all the more impressive, “SVU” is the #1 Wednesday show on NBC, and that is even when you consider it airing against “Criminal Minds” (another show that follows the crime-of-the-week model) and “Empire,” the highest-rated drama on network TV. Very little slows it down. If you want to look at the ratings landscape in a boarder sense, “SVU” to date is NBC’s #3 drama this season in the demo behind only “Chicago Fire” and “This Is Us.” It performs better than any other drama on Mondays, Thursdays, or Fridays.

You can also add in here many other factors as to why it should be renewed: It’s an enormous hit around the world, it has continued success in syndication, and it is culturally relevant at a time when more and more issues of domestic violence are being brought to the surface. Friend of the show (and former guest star!) Joe Biden was honored by President Obama earlier this week, and that presentation was all the more emotional because of the specific work the Vice-President did with the Violence Against Women Act.

If the ratings trend for “SVU” continues as-is, we do firmly believe that this is a show that could go on for however long the cast and crew want to continue making it. Hopefully, they will keep at it for many years to come.

(Photo: NBC.)

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