Mariska Hargitay to Continue with Law & Order:SVU

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Starbreaker, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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

    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.
     
  2. Timby

    Timby LIKE LIGHTNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING Administrator

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    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.

    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.
     
  3. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  4. Timby

    Timby LIKE LIGHTNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING Administrator

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    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.
     
  5. Base_Delta_Zero

    Base_Delta_Zero Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  6. Timby

    Timby LIKE LIGHTNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING Administrator

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    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.
     
  7. Base_Delta_Zero

    Base_Delta_Zero Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  8. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  9. Danny99

    Danny99 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  10. gh4chiefs

    gh4chiefs Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    Is this show worth watching anymore? I quit watching SVU years ago, as it got kind of stale for me.
     
  12. Aragorn

    Aragorn Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  13. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That dude is probably a genius. I bet there's no way the other two guys thought it would run for a dozen years.
     
  14. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  15. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I would hate to see Dann Florek go, he's one of my favorite L&O actors of all time. I can understand why it might happen, but I still hate it. Cragen rocks!

    As for Benson: If she does take over the squad, I bet Munch would be only too happy to let her (he hates it when he has to run things, he only took the Sergeant's exam on a bar bet :lol: ). I wonder if Benson could go straight to Lieutenant without being a Sergeant first...

    And FWIW, I miss Stabler.
     
  17. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    I don't see why she couldn't. I'm not a cop myself, but doesn't it all boil down to whatever the department wants to do - meaning they can promote her straight to Lieutenant if they want to?
     
  18. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I think there are separate promotion exams for Sergeant and Lieutenant. I don't know if it actually is possible to skip a rank though.
     
  19. AFEK ESLCAFE W

    AFEK ESLCAFE W Lieutenant Commander Newbie

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    Good continuous career move on the part of Ms. Hargitay.

    To think she almost endedup in the role of Dulcea in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie. That would have typecast her for good like Jolene Blalock.
     
  20. cultcross

    cultcross The truth is precisely the opposite Moderator

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    Stabler as a character was beginning to irritate me. I generally don't like characters who do things that I would consider wrong, get away with it, and the audience is obviously supposed to be pleased that he stuck it to the man. The 'ends always justify the means' thing that Stabler was beginning to represent wasn't something I particularly wanted to watch every episode.