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Old January 8 2012, 10:21 PM   #1
Starbreaker
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Mariska Hargitay to Continue with Law & Order:SVU

Despite getting a reduced workload this season, Markisa Hargitay (Det. Olivia Benson) will be sticking around for a

“I’ll be back,” she said. “I can’t leave this show, I’m having too much fun.
I thought this show would struggle this season, but the ratings have been pretty good, the new cast has fit right in, and Mariska has done some of her best work without having to banter back and forth with Stabler over something trivial for 45 minutes. I assume she is still going to be moved into some sort of a supervisory role at some point in the season.
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Old January 8 2012, 10:29 PM   #2
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Re: Mariska Hargitay to Continue with Law & Order:SVU

Starbreaker wrote: View Post
but the ratings have been pretty good
Uh, not really. It's averaging only around 7 million viewers per episode, nearly 2 million down from last season (and more than a million viewers less than the numbers which got Criminal Intent punted to USA Network), and it's tied its all-time series low in viewership at least twice this season. SVU's renewal is far from a sure thing, though I'd tip the scales in favor of Season 14, if only because Giddish and Pino signed two-year contracts and NBC surely won't want to eat that money.

Starbreaker wrote: View Post
I assume she is still going to be moved into some sort of a supervisory role at some point in the season.
Yes. Her demand for signing on for Season 13 was that she have a reduced workload, so she signed a deal that had her in a full-time role for the front thirteen episodes of the season, and would move her into a reduced role for the back nine. I'll bet you anything that Dann Florek has been given his walking papers.
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Old January 8 2012, 10:33 PM   #3
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Re: Mariska Hargitay to Continue with Law & Order:SVU

Timby wrote: View Post
Starbreaker wrote: View Post
]
but the ratings have been pretty good
Uh, not really. It's averaging only around 7 million viewers per episode, nearly 2 million down from last season (and more than a million viewers less than the numbers which got Criminal Intent punted to USA Network), and it's tied its all-time series low in viewership at least twice this season. SVU's renewal is far from a sure thing, though I'd tip the scales in favor of Season 14, if only because Giddish and Pino signed two-year contracts and NBC surely won't want to eat that money.
Well, it's phenomenal ratings for NBC. It's their highest rated drama by far.

Surely they can't fire Dann Florek again. That would be pretty sad.
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Old January 8 2012, 10:49 PM   #4
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Re: Mariska Hargitay to Continue with Law & Order:SVU

Starbreaker wrote: View Post
Timby wrote: View Post
Starbreaker wrote: View Post
]
but the ratings have been pretty good
Uh, not really. It's averaging only around 7 million viewers per episode, nearly 2 million down from last season (and more than a million viewers less than the numbers which got Criminal Intent punted to USA Network), and it's tied its all-time series low in viewership at least twice this season. SVU's renewal is far from a sure thing, though I'd tip the scales in favor of Season 14, if only because Giddish and Pino signed two-year contracts and NBC surely won't want to eat that money.
Well, it's phenomenal ratings for NBC. It's their highest rated drama by far.

Surely they can't fire Dann Florek again. That would be pretty sad.
Viewership is essentially half of the show's peak, and Hargitay earns a little under $9 million a year, which is especially high when you consider that she's moving into a reduced role. (That was what caused Meloni's departure: Hargitay's request for a reduced role, but at the same pay, was met, so Meloni said that if he was working full-time for a thirteenth year, he deserved a not-insignificant raise. Wolf & Co. said no, and he walked.)

Florek is still employed because NBC lets Wolf throw a bone or two to longtime fans, especially after Vanilla was forced to end suddenly. But make no mistake: after Hargitay's contract, Giddish and Pino were hired because NBC wanted two new characters to become the new face of the franchise, and Florek's "old, white, fat, bald dude who's cranky" character almost certainly doesn't fit in any future plans.
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Old January 8 2012, 10:58 PM   #5
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Re: Mariska Hargitay to Continue with Law & Order:SVU

Stabler was the only reason to watch the damn show. The newbies are boring and Benson and her shtick is so tired and old. I used to watch every episode religiously. Now, I can't even remember when it's on. I still can't believe I lost my Stabler fix because the higher ups thought Hargitay was worth double pay and told Meloni to go screw. What a joke. Way to ruin the franchise, guys. Bravo.
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Old January 8 2012, 11:09 PM   #6
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Re: Mariska Hargitay to Continue with Law & Order:SVU

Actually, this season has been incredibly good, akin to the creative resurgence Vanilla experienced when the cast was shaken up prior to Season 18.

Meloni wasn't told to "go screw." He demanded a not-insignificant raise (at least $1 million per year, from what I've been told) to continue working on a show that, at the end of Season 12, had plummeted in both the creative and financial senses -- the ratings have been going down, fast, for at least five years. It was well within his rights to ask for a raise, just as it was well within Wolf and NBC's rights to say, "Look, the viewership is in the tank and this show is expensive as hell to make. We'll give you a nominal raise, but don't ask for the bank."

I, for one, am glad to be watching episodes that don't consist of Benson dealing with her family issues, followed by Stabler beating a confession out of a suspect, followed by courtroom wrangling, followed by a victim / victim family member / random passer-by murdering the suspect to end the episode in a Massive Twist Ending.
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Old January 8 2012, 11:51 PM   #7
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Re: Mariska Hargitay to Continue with Law & Order:SVU

Giving Hargitay full pay for half-time work and telling Stabler no raise for you, but keep working full-time, please = suck it up or go screw, we like her more than you. I'm glad you're enjoying the show, but let's not sugar coat what happened.

And if they wanted to shake up the stories, they have this thing called free will and talent they could have tried dusting off. Writing stories that didn't involve what had become show cliches didn't require forcing Meloni into early retirement. They required writers with the ability to grow existing characters.

How about baldy uses up the last of his juice keeping Stabler on the force, has to take early retirement and Benson gets tapped for the promotion. Stabler is put on suspension and has to reassess his life until he comes back full time mid season with a new veteran partner (blonde chick) and Benson is on overwatch after the first half running with blondie. Both actors get full-time pay for half-time work, no need to give Meloni a raise to balance the books this season. Problem solved for this year.

Or, do what they ended up doing, lose one of their best characters and lose viewers, cause my family isn't alone in not being thrilled with the new direction.
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Old January 9 2012, 12:28 AM   #8
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Re: Mariska Hargitay to Continue with Law & Order:SVU

Timby wrote: View Post
Giddish and Pino signed two-year contracts and NBC surely won't want to eat that money.
Unless they signed pay-or-play deals (which is unusual for film, unheard of in television) those contracts are likely structured so that NBC/Universal has an option to hire those actors for two years, but is in no way obligated to do so.
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Old January 9 2012, 02:01 AM   #9
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Re: Mariska Hargitay to Continue with Law & Order:SVU

I don't miss Meloni. How long can you drag out angst?

As sad as I am to say it, the simplest thing financially would have been to have Munch retire as well. There must be some kind of financial dues due to the Homicide people for using him every episode and he's only in a third of them a season anyways.

Danny Pino has been a surprise for me. He actually has a character I like, something Meloni and Hargitay never had. Kelli Giddish is no big wow, but I don't think that's completely her fault.
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Old January 9 2012, 02:46 AM   #10
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Re: Mariska Hargitay to Continue with Law & Order:SVU

Starbreaker wrote: View Post
Well, it's phenomenal ratings for NBC. It's their highest rated drama by far.
Actually if you're talking in terms of total viewers, that would be Harry's Law, but you may be correct in demo numbers, which are the ones that count.
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Old January 9 2012, 03:01 AM   #11
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Re: Mariska Hargitay to Continue with Law & Order:SVU

Is this show worth watching anymore? I quit watching SVU years ago, as it got kind of stale for me.
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Old January 9 2012, 04:01 AM   #12
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Re: Mariska Hargitay to Continue with Law & Order:SVU

Danny99 wrote: View Post
As sad as I am to say it, the simplest thing financially would have been to have Munch retire as well. There must be some kind of financial dues due to the Homicide people for using him every episode and he's only in a third of them a season anyways.
Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana waived their rights to Munch but there's a third guy whose name escapes me right now who didn't and they still have to pay him royalties.
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Old January 9 2012, 04:28 AM   #13
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Re: Mariska Hargitay to Continue with Law & Order:SVU

That dude is probably a genius. I bet there's no way the other two guys thought it would run for a dozen years.
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Old January 9 2012, 05:38 AM   #14
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Re: Mariska Hargitay to Continue with Law & Order:SVU

Meloni leaving the show hasn't really effected it all that much. In fact I've been liking this season more than the last few. Before if I missed some episodes here and there it didn't bother me. This season I feel I have to watch all the new episodes. I like the addition of the two new characters though after watching Cold Case for 7 seasons i keep thinking Danny Pino is playing the same character on SVU but I think that's more me than him.
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Old January 9 2012, 05:52 AM   #15
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Re: Mariska Hargitay to Continue with Law & Order:SVU

If Stabler is gone, I might have to reconsider this show again. I could not stand him!
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