Screen Time Exclusive: The Shadow League Behind the Scenes of Law & Order: SVU

On Wednesday September 23, the longest-running drama on television will premiere its 17 season on NBC. The Shadow League was recently invited down to Law & Order : SVUs New York stage to discuss the shows legacy, characters and changes with the cast and writers in a round table discussion that included other members of the press corps. On hand were stars Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Kelli Giddish, Peter Scanavino and Raul Esparza, as well as executive producers/writers Warren Leight and Julie Martin. Check out the quotes, as well as some behind the scenes footage and exclusive interviews with Ice-T and Kelli Giddish. Primary among many of our minds was how they worked around his co-stars pregnancy as far as writing was concerned.

What we did last season was finish the season, then we did three episodes, said Ice. So, we come back on the fourth episode. So, that way we have something in the can over the hiatus.

There was once a time when Ice-T was considered something of a novelty actor, but that was a very long time ago. Way back before he put in almost 2 decades of work on SVU.

To tell you the truth, it doesnt seem that long, he told me. It doesnt seem long at all. If you told me five years, then yeah. Because it just doesnt seem that long. This is such an easy job to come to, an easy work environment, everybodys so cool, its such a well-oiled machine, theres no stress on you. I dont think Ive ever gone home stressed over this job. I just show up, they treat you with respect, its fun.

Whats it done for me? It allowed me to slow down a little bit. I can make better music. By having this as my day job, Im allowed to do other things. Ive made movies, its been a great ride for me. I dont stop though. I go on tours overseas, I do commercials, and this is a platform that allows me to do other things. But, who would ever thought? I came on this show to do four episodes.

Mariska is better known as Olivia Benson on the show and is its longest tenured cast member. Here she talks about what the ride has been like thus far.

The other thing about it thats great is theyve turned the show into more of a serial show. Now, its sequential. That is so much better. I mean, I dont want to quality it. But its really fun to act knowing really where you came from. Not the moment before, but the year before. Its such a fun thing to actually build this unique foundation because, before these guys arrived, each show stood on its own. Its be like Oh great, I speak farsi this week. Great! I had no idea! Then, I would never speak farsi again. Now these things are building blocks. Things mean so much more. I mean, obviously, weve been doing this for so long and relationships are so deeply earned. The fact that you have deep relationships with each person is a gift.

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