Rating the Ratings: It was a surprisingly positive season for the longest-running active drama in primetime, which may be picking back up on some casual NBC viewership that wasn't available during the network's darkest days. The biggest shock of all was the two-hour season premiere, whose 2.7 demo was up nearly 30% year-to-year and bigger than any SVU rating from the previous two seasons. Beyond that, the show was rather inconsistent; it proved capable of breaking 2.0 even late in the season for big episodes in the Mariska Hargitay storyline. But other weeks usually managed just a 1.5-1.6ish. Maybe that means this rating level is a bit fragile moving forward, but the powers that be deserve a lot of credit for finding a storyline that meaningfully moved the needle. Getting to the original Law and Order's 20 seasons still seems like an uphill battle for SVU (it was a late renewal even on the heels of this very good season), but keeping up this ratings pace will make it much harder for NBC to part ways. Grade: A-.
Here's the now updated War of 18-49 post for Law and Order: SVU.