Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has a new boss for Season 24.
David Graziano has been named the new showrunner for the long-running NBC drama per Deadline.
His promotion is unique as Graziano is a newcomer to the Law & Order world but promises some unique drama in store for the series.
Law & Order: Special Victim Unit’s showrunner history
It’s very rare for a producer to actually be able to have hands-on work with their TV show. In the case of Dick Wolf, who has nine major shows on NBC and CBS right now, showrunners are needed to handle the day-to-day operations.
Barry Diller was Law & Order: Special Victim Unit’s first showrunner when the series began in 1999. He remained in that position until the end of Season 12.
Warren Leight became the new showrunner and handled the position until the end of Season 18. He was succeeded by Rick Eid and then Michael S. Chernuchin.
Leight returned as showrunner for Season 21 but announced he was stepping down after the Season 23 finale. This coincided with Law & Order: Organized Crime also enduring its own showrunner change.
It was expected that someone within Dick Wolf Entertainment might step up as with Bryan Goluboff being promoted from writer/producer to Law & Order Organized Crime showrunner.
Instead, the series hired Graziano, a former playwright who has worked on shows such as Felicity, Lie to Me, American Gods, and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan.
Graziano co-created the CBS All Access series Coyote starring Emmy award winner Michael Chiklis. He is currently developing the project Salvage for Counterbalance Entertainment.
Hiring a newcomer to the show to be its boss is a surprising move that leads to the question of what direction the series will take.
What will the new showrunner bring to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit?
A key question is whether a new showrunner will bring Law & Order: Special Victims Unit changes in both storylines and tone.
Leight’s tenure on the show had involved more personal storylines for the characters, from Benson (Mariska Hargitay) handling motherhood and her feelings for Stabler to Carisi (Peter Scanavino) and Rollins (Kelli Giddish) becoming a couple.
The Season 23 finale had Benson facing the possibility of exploring her feelings for Stabler. However, the final scene had former ADA Rafael Barba (Raul Esparza) seemingly confessing he was in love with Benson.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has remained successful in the ratings, with the Season 23 finale bringing in 4.5 million viewers and a 0.59 in the 18-49 demo range.
The question is if Graziano will continue the personal stories that highlighted Leight’s run or go back to focusing on the actual cases more. This might also impact any possible future crossover with Law & Order: Organized Crime.
With a few months to go before production begins on Season 24, Graziano will have time to figure out his plans for the series, which will hopefully continue the great drama that’s made the show so iconic for fans.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Season 24 airs Thursdays this fall on NBC.
I don’t think the chemistry is there for Olivia and Stabler being an item. Stabler shows more feelings than Olivia.