Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will return with Mariska Hargitay for its fifteenth season on NBC. US Magazine reported the announcement was made on Saturday, May 25 via Twitter from the star of the show.
Hargitay tweeted excitedly, “It’s official. Season 15 – I’ll be back!” This came as good news for fans, as the future of her character, Detective Olivia Benson, was left in limbo at the end of the season finale according to the Huffington Post. The episode ended in her own apartment, where a murderer/rapist pointed a gun at her chin. She is not expected to return to work for several days, so the outcome of this stand off could go in any direction.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit has been on air since 1999 and continues to stay popular to this day. Star of the show, Dann Florek, told the Huffington Post in an interview he believes the success of the show is due to “great storytelling. Great writing […] a terrific cast and great guest stars.”
Access Hollywood reported Hargitay has been nominated for eight Emmy Awards since 2004, receiving the award for outstanding lead actress in 2006. Each episode in season 14 earned her 500,000 dollars per episode, making her the highest paid actress on television. Yahoo! reports there are no details on her salary for her return quite yet.
Hargitay makes generous use of her sizable salary, as she is the founder and president of Joyful Heart Foundation, which TV Guide lists as a charity that helps rape and sexual assault victims.
She told NBC, “It’s gratifying to play such a complex character. Olivia is not only an accomplished, street-smart cop, she’s also an empathetic woman who can respond emotionally to victims of terrible crimes without compromising her professionalism.”