According to Variety, this will make the police procedural "the longest-running primetime live-action series in TV history," surpassing the current record it is tied for with the original Law & Order.
“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,” NBC Co-Chairmen Paul Telegdy and George Cheeks said in a joint statement on the renewal.
“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,” the statement added.
Series star Mariska Hargitay — who has played Lt. Olivia Benson since the show first aired in 1999 — also commented on the momentous occasion, saying, “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,” she added.
Law & Order franchise creator Dick Wolf addressed the SVU renewal as well, gushing over Hargitay by exclaiming, “As SVU moves into its third decade, Mariska has become an iconic figure as a star, advocate and crusader for women.”
Hargitay's co-star Ice-T, who has also been with the show since its second season, tweeted about the series' renewal, writing, "SVU has been OFFICIALLY picked up for season #21. Making us the longest running drama in Television History! Respect to the man Dick Wolf @NBCUniversal @Mariska @KelliGiddish @PeterScanavino @philipwinchestr and all my past and present Cast and Crew! And [definitely] ALL the fans!"
SVU has been OFFICIALLY picked up for season #21. Making us the longest running drama in Television History! Respect to the man Dick Wolf @NBCUniversal @Mariska @KelliGiddish @PeterScanavino @philipwinchestr and all my past and present Cast and Crew! And definetly ALL the fans! pic.twitter.com/vKX5u069ir— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) March 29, 2019
Season 20 is still in production, with new episodes of Law & Order: SVU airing on NBC Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET. The current season finale is scheduled for sometime in May.