Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has become one of the longest-standing television shows of all time. Created and produced by Dick Wolf, it started as a spin-off of the original series, Law & Order, back in 1999, but today the series stands all on its own. It has been on the air for many seasons and become the longest-running scripted non-animated primetime series in history! Starring Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU follows New York City detectives who work in the special victims unit as they investigate and prosecute sexually based crimes. Unsurprisingly, by now the critically acclaimed legal drama has a strong fan following. In honor of its success, here’s a look at 9 interesting behind-the-scenes secrets:
9. How Chris Meloni Was Hired
In an interview with A.V. Club, former Law & Order: SVU star Chris Meloni talked about how he landed the job of Det. Elliot Stabler. “I had the audition, and I thought I did very well in the room…Then a couple of weeks went by, and nothing,” said Meloni. After tracking him down on the phone, Dick Wolf said he’d call him back. “Sure enough, he calls me back a couple of days later or something and then…nothing! So I go, ‘Enough of this! I’m going on vacation!’ So my wife and I fly to Hawaii…and I swear to you, the tires on the jet were still hot from the landing, and I got a call saying, ‘Get the next flight back, you’re screen-testing tomorrow in New York.’ So I fly back to New York, I screen test, Mariska [Hargitay] and I get it, they let us know literally a half an hour afterward,” said Meloni.