There’s no shortage of crimes for ‘SVU,’ says executive producer
It might be dark, gritty and uncomfortable to watch … but that’s the reason “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is still going strong 13 seasons after its debut.
And it shows no signs of stopping, thanks to the show’s current executive producer and show runner Warren Leight, who says he just can’t seem to run out of ideas.
“I would love to run out of storylines,” Leight says right off the bat in a recent conference call with CTV.ca. “We try very hard to shed some light into the dark areas of the human psyche and to actually depict the sometimes serpentine judicial process that victims and survivors have to go through.”
Leight joined the “SVU” team at the beginning of the 13 season, but previously wrote for its sister show, “Criminal Intent.” He says he’s drawn to the “Law & Order” franchise because it allows him to tell the stories he wants to tell.
“I've never been asked to dumb down a ‘Law & Order’ script and that's a real privilege,” he says. “We can put ourselves in worlds that are very esoteric and very specific and eight days later wardrobe and set - everyone's gone there and done their research and there's a real sense of ‘it's important to be accurate.’”
And it’s that accuracy that allows him to keep the show fresh. While Leight’s extremely proud of the actors and the crew of the series, he admits it’s a sad fact the world we live in contains so many heinous crimes. With “SVU,” he says he gets to involve the victim in the judicial process, as opposed to only writing the perpetrators on “Criminal Intent.”
“Sex crimes, it's the only division of police work where the victim has to prove a crime actually occurred and very often the victim is tried in public, not the suspect,” he says. “So I find that an interesting area to go into.”
“SVU” is currently the only “Law & Order” series still on the air. The original series wrapped after 19 seasons in 2010, and “Criminal Intent” after 10 seasons in 2011. While there are no plans for another spin-off anytime soon, Leight hopes that won’t always be the case.
“(Dick Wolf and I) sometimes talk in general terms of where (the franchise) could go. I'm curious to see if there's another iteration somewhere down the line,” he says.
“We try hard to maintain a certain level of quality which I think is why the shows sustained in reruns so well. And I'd like to believe there's room for another generation in some way.”
Don’t miss all-new episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV two.