Law & Order: SVU renewed for season 21; Philip Winchester leaving

SVU season 20 art
There’s some legendary news coming out today when it comes to Law & Order: SVUthough there is a bittersweet part to it, as well.

Let’s start with the joyous news, as it was officially confirmed today that the Mariska Hargitay-led series will be back for a history-making season 21 on NBC! Even though the live ratings were down this year versus season 19, this was never in doubt. The show’s numbers remain solid considering the later timeslot and the lack of a great lead-in. Meanwhile, NBC as a network seems to both understand and also appreciate the cultural significance of a show like this, one that has shown itself, time and time again, to be one of the most important shows on television when it comes to raising awareness of real-life issues — told through its signature lens.

In a statement discussing the renewal further, here is some of what Hargitay had to say:

“I’m deeply proud to be a part of this groundbreaking show, and humbled to make television history today … The longevity and continued success of SVU is a testament not only to the show’s powerful storytelling and ability to connect with viewers, but to its necessity. We have told important stories for 20 years, and we will continue to tell them.”

Meanwhile, executive producer Dick Wolf went on to add the following:

As SVU moves into its third decade, Mariska has become an iconic figure as a star, advocate and crusader for women … She is an enduring champion of the movement to end sexual violence, and dozens of episodes have dealt with the very same issues that have shifted into the spotlight in this country in the past two years. Mariska is a delight as No. 1 on the call sheet and, to me, a true friend.”

The sad news that we’ve learned today is that Philip Winchester will not be coming back as Peter Stone after making his debut for the first time in early 2018. He confirmed the news today in a series of posts on Twitter:

I want to congratulate the cast and crew of [SVU] for making history today. Also to thank everyone for two great seasons. I have learned much and enjoyed being part of an elite unit.  Here’s to you all and a historic run! Sadly for me, Peter Stone and his “the facts don’t care about [your] feelings” attitude will not be returning. A huge tip of the hat to my amazing fans and not so big of fans. You ALL make me work harder. Thank you! See you on the next adventure.

Ultimately, we think that Winchester will be just fine in terms of other shows inquiring for his services — with the timing of this announcement, it actually could help him find a new show for the 2019-20 season. One of the craziest parts about SVU over the years is the revolving-door effect we’ve seen in regards to the ADA characters, who seem to flutter in and out with great regularity even though people like Hargitay and Ice-T stick around.

For some more news when it comes to SVU…

Be sure to visit the link here for more details on the next episode.

What do you think about Law & Order: SVU being renewed for a season 21 over at NBC? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: NBC.)

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