"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" has been renewed for a 16th season. Showrunner Warren Leight spread the good news through Twitter as writing, "It's official. Thank you #SVUDiehards, cast and crew, Dick Wolf, @Mariska, Bob Greenblatt and @nbc. #SVUSweetSixteen!!"
The crime drama series scores the renewal after lengthy and intense negotiations with series creator and executive producer Dick Wolf. He was reportedly asked to take a pay cut in order for the show to return. It's unclear how they solved the issue.
The entire cast, including the only remaining original star Mariska Hargitay, is expected to return for the new installment.
"We're up 5 percent on the year. 'Modern Family' is down and 'Criminal Minds' is down, they're still in the Top 10. But it's a tough slot, up against two Top 10 shows, but we're up and they're down," executive producer Leight told E! News in April after "SVU" was missing from NBC's list of early renewals in March.
He continued, "We're up for the first time since 2005 and the critics are responding. You would like to think that counts, but then you get into the arcane-the complicated relationship Dick has had with the network. It's like a very strange marriage that just goes on and on and on and sometimes nobody pays attention to the kids in the fight."
"SVU" recently surprised fans with a newly-unveiled romance between its two detectives, Rollins (Kelli Giddish) and Amaro (Danny Pino), in the Wednesday, May 7 episode. Pino said he had no idea about the shocking twist until the read-through.
"I had no idea until we walked into the read-through," Pino tells TV Guide. "Warren Leight, our showrunner, said, 'There have been some slight changes to the script.' I had read the script prior to the read-through, so I wasn't quite sure as to what he was referring to," he goes on recalling.
"A little bit of a rustle started in the room and I doubled back up the page. I started looking at the stage directions and saw that Rollins was not alone in her apartment. ... Needless to say I was caught by surprise."