Law & Order: Special Victims Unit debuted September 20, 1999, and has become a much-watched and much-referenced crime drama over its 20 seasons and counting on the air. The Onion looks back at key moments over the show’s history as it turns 20.
Producers decide against show’s original name, Sexy, Sad Times In The Big Apple.
Ice-T determines he can live with irony of playing a cop for huge portion of career.
In the wake of 9/11, series forced to pull episode guest-starring the Twin Towers.
Viewers now fully accustomed to winding down stressful day with twisted story about sexual crimes.
Show celebrates 1,000th sarcastic determination that an abusive parent suspect isn’t exactly father of the year.
USA network airs a pretty good one.
Actor Richard Belzer surprises hospitalized children by showing up to sick ward dressed as Munch.
Co-star Christopher Meloni departs show after drawing gun on producers and informing them a tragic childhood incident gave him a visceral, personal hatred for lowballing contract negotiators.
Mariska Hargitay directs her first episode after previously doing sound mixing, location scouting, and some light PA work.
Show’s bumbling investigators finally solve first crime.