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

Updated November 12, 2020 1.3k votes 248 voters 16.5k views22 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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  • Photo: NBC

    The eleventh season of Law & Order: SVU premiered on September 23, 2009, and contains 24 episodes. This season finds the character George Huang (BD Wong) confirming that he is gay.

    This season contains several memorable episodes including: "Hardwired," "Quickie," and "Disabled."

    Memorable moments from Season 11 include:

    • Detective Stabler realizes he put an innocent man in jail.
    • ADA Cabot prosecutes a offender for knowingly spreading HIV.
    • Benson and Stabler go undercover to investigate a baby trafficking scam.
    75
    22
    Was this one of the best?
  • Photo: NBC

    The sixth season of Law & Order: SVU premiered on September 21, 2004, and contains 23 episodes. Mariska Hargitay won a Golden Globe Award for her work in this season.

    This season contains several memorable episodes including: "Birthright," "Charisma," and "Night."

    Memorable moments from Season 6 include:

    • ADA Casey Novak is attacked by her brother.
    • Stabler and Munch investigate organ trading.
    • Novak takes on the U.S. Army.
    71
    23
    Was this one of the best?
  • 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.
    77
    30
    Was this one of the best?
  • 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.
    62
    20
    Was this one of the best?