Ariel Winter is moving on to a new TV family, and just weeks ahead of her Law & Order: SVU debut, details are trickling in about her guest appearance in the crime drama’s history-making Season 21. The upcoming season, which will secure Law & Orders’ place as the longest-running scripted, live-action primetime series, will be unlike previous seasons and will focus on “the timeliest, ripped-from-the-headlines tales,” showrunner Warren Leight told TVLine.
After a premiere episode that will star Deadwood‘s Ian McShane and focus on a "Me Too" case, Winter will make her debut on the fan-favorite procedural in the untitled second episode, portraying a woman who believes something happened to her in a ride-share car while she was drunk.
Describing the episode as “an interesting episode about the puzzle of memory and how you put that puzzle back together,” Leight explained that Olivia (Mariska Hargitay) will use a different method of questioning to discover the truth and crack the case.
Winter, who stars as Alex Dunphy on ABC’s long-running mockumentary family sitcom Modern Family, was first revealed to be taking on a role on Law & Order: SVU back in July. At the time, Winter had been spotted filming alongside Hargitay in New York City, though details of her role had been largely unknown.
The reveal had come just days after the actress had teased that she was working on a new project, writing on Instagram that she was “filming something new that I'm really excited about.” It also comes as Modern Family prepares to air its 11th and final on season on ABC on Wednesday, Sept. 25.
Winter joins a long list of Hollywood celebrities who have guest starred on Law & Order: SVU. Most recently, rapper Snoop Dogg made an unforgettable appearance in an episode last season. Season 21 is also set to see a number of guest stars.
The peacock network renewed SVU for another season back in March, with NBC Co-Chairmen Paul Telegdy and George Cheek praising the series’ success at the time.0comments
“We tip our cap to Dick Wolf, Mariska Hargitay and the amazing cast and crew of SVU, who now all go into the record book," they said in a statement. “This incredible run is an example of what happens when producers, writers and actors all come together and create a show that, year after year, speaks to its audience in a powerful way. We couldn’t be more proud of this remarkable achievement."
SVU will return for its 21st season on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC. Modern Family will return for its final season on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.