Created by Emmy Award-winning producer Dick Wolf, "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" is now in its 14th season. The program has received numerous accolades from community-based organizations for the social issues it tackles, and cast members are frequently recognized for the work they do off-screen to promote personal health and safety and other volunteer efforts and initiatives.
This hard-hitting and emotional series from NBC's "Law & Order" brand chronicles the life and crimes of the Special Victims Unit of the New York City Police Department, an elite squad of detectives who investigate sexually based crimes. Dedicated Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), a seasoned veteran of the unit who has seen it all, heads up the department with empathy and professionalism, all the while dealing with her difficult past - as a product of rape and a witness to her mother's grief, she can personally relate to each victim she tries to help.
In 2011, Hargitay (Detective Benson) garnered her eighth Emmy nomination for Lead Actress in a Drama Series and won the 2006 Emmy for that category. Also in 2011, she received her sixth SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for her portrayal of Detective Benson. In 2009, Hargitay earned her second Golden Globe nomination for Lead Actress in a Drama Series for the role, winning the award in 2005.
Captain Donald Cragen, (Dann Florek, reprising the role he played on the first three seasons of "Law & Order" 1990-1993), oversees the unit with a tough but supportive approach to the team's complex cases, guiding the squad through the challenges they face every day. Sergeant John Munch, (Richard Belzer, "Homicide: Life on the Street"), a transfer from Baltimore's homicide unit, brings his acerbic wit, conspiracy theories and street-honed investigative skills to the team. Detective Odafin "Fin" Tutuola (Ice-T) adds a unique sense of humor and undercover investigative experience, making him a formidable match for any partner.
Returning for their second year are Detectives Nick Amaro (Danny Pino) and Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish), who bring their own talents and style of investigation, all the while learning the ropes from senior detectives and facing head-on the emotional toll it takes to work the SVU. In 2012, Pino was nominated for the ALMA Award for Favorite TV Actor.
"SVU" has been continually acknowledged for its guest players, most recently with the legendary Ann-Margret winning an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series in 2010. In 2009, Ellen Burstyn won the Guest Actress Emmy while fellow "SVU" guest stars Brenda Blethyn and Carol Burnett were nominated. Previous Emmy-winning guest stars include Cynthia Nixon (2008), Leslie Caron (2007) and Amanda Plummer (2005). Other Emmy-nominated "SVU" guest stars include Robin Williams, Marcia Gay Harden, Angela Lansbury, Marlee Matlin, Mare Winningham, Barbara Barrie, Martha Plimpton, Jane Alexander and Tracy Pollan.
In 2012, the NAACP Image Awards honored "SVU" as the year's Outstanding Drama Series, with Ice-T and guest actress Anika Noni Rose nominated in the acting categories. Three "SVU" episodes have been nominated by the GLAAD Media Awards for outstanding representation of the LGBT community. In addition, the show has garnered several People's Choice Award nominations, including Favorite TV Drama, Favorite Scene Stealing Star (Richard Belzer, guest star Luke Perry and winning guest star Robin Williams), and Favorite TV Crime Fighter (Mariska Hargitay).
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" is a Wolf Films production in association with Universal Television. Dick Wolf is creator and executive producer; Warren Leight, Julie Martin, Michael Smith and Peter Jankowski are executive producers.