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Ranking the Best Seasons of 'Law & Order: SVU' 

Ranker TV
Updated May 26, 2020 463 votes 99 voters 4.8k views 20 items

There have been so many seasons of Law & Order: SVU and even though they all have been great, which seasons really stand out? Olivia Benson and the entire special victims unit team work tirelessly to solve horrific offenses. Some of the most memorable episodes of Law & Order: SVU come from different seasons, so picking the top season isn't easy. To determine once and for all what the best seasons of Law & Order: SVU are, let's rank every Law & Order: SVU season from best to worst.

Law & Order: SVU is an American crime drama series following the style of the original Law & Order series, but focusing on sexually based offenses. Law & Order: SVU premiered on NBC on September 20, 1999 and as of 2019 became the longest-running U.S. live action series on television. Mariska Hargitay, who plays Captain Olivia Benson, has starred in the series since 1999.

Vote up your favorite seasons of Law & Order: SVU , and vote down any bad seasons that you really didn't enjoy, despite how much you loved any individual episodes. It can be painful to put one Law & Order: SVU season over the other when there are so many good ones, which is why you can vote on however many seasons you like. If you've shamelessly seen every episode, you can watch more shows like Law & Order: SVU.

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Law & Order: SVU - S... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Ranking the Best Seasons of 'Law & Order: SVU'
Photo:  NBC

The third season of Law & Order: SVU premiered on September 28, 2001, and contains 23 episodes. This season often followed cases through court trials.

This season contains several memorable episodes including: "Wrong Is Right," "Asunder," and "Secrets."

Memorable moments from Season 3 include:

  • Cabot joins the SVU team as a permanent Assistant District Attorney.
  • Viewers learn about Benson's mother's passing.
  • Munch and Fin hunt down a serialkiller.
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Law & Order: SVU - S... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Ranking the Best Seasons of 'Law & Order: SVU'
Photo:  NBC

The fifth season of Law & Order: SVU premiered on September 23, 2003, and contains 25 episodes. This season finds Diane Neal joining the cast as ADA Casey Novak to replace Stephanie March (ADA Alexandra Cabot).

This season contains several memorable episodes including: "Tragedy," "Control," and "Brotherhood."

Memorable moments from Season 5 include:

  • Cabot enters the witness protection program.
  • The detectives investigate allegations of hazing.
  • Novak and Clark investigate a judge over mishandling cases.
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Law & Order: SVU - S... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Ranking the Best Seasons of 'Law & Order: SVU'
Photo:  NBC

The fourth season of Law & Order: SVU premiered on September 27, 2002, and contains 25 episodes. This season introduced Caren Browning as CSU Captain Judith Siper.

This season contains several memorable episodes including: "Disappearing Acts," "Dolls," and "Desperate."

Memorable moments from Season 4 include:

  • Stabler goes undercover as a drug dealer.
  • The SVU team investigates a cult.
  • A victim is snatched from the hospital.

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Law & Order: SVU - S... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Ranking the Best Seasons of 'Law & Order: SVU'
Photo:  NBC

The seventh season of Law & Order: SVU premiered on September 20, 2005, and contains 22 episodes. Mariska Hargitay won an Emmy Award for her work in this season.

This season contains several memorable episodes including: "911," "Demons," and "Alien."

Memorable moments from Season 7 include:

  • Stabler seeks counseling.
  • Benson gets a call from a little girl locked in a room.
  • Benson requests a new partner so Stabler is temporarily partnered with Blaine.
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