Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Law & Disorder: “SVU” is Up, Up, Up in Ratings While “Organized Crime” Has Fallen 1 Million Viewers Behind


There’s a lot of Law and Disorder right now in the NBC Thursday lineup.

This month, “SVU” is up, up, up in the ratings. Mariska Hargitay’s show has risen 20% in January, jumping 17% in its return on January 6th to 4 million viewers. The next week “SVU” lurched ahead 3.26%. Last night was stable with just a slight fall off.

This is pretty good considering “SVU” is in its 23rd year. Its main competitor,”Grey’s Anatomy,” has been off because of COVID. So the procedural has to do battle with a new hit CBS comedy, “Ghosts.”

But things are not rosy in Dick Wolf’s world. “Law & Order: Organized Crime” follows “SVU.” At first the Chris Meloni show followed close behind in the ratings because the two shows were linked. But on its own this month, “OC” has plummeted. There’s now a gap of 1 million viewers between the two shows. Last night, “OC” garnered just 3.1 million viewers. Not only are they losing the “SVU” lead by a lot, they’re down a million viewers since their debut last September.

This is all problematic since “Law & Order” classic is returning next month with Sam Waterston. The idea was to have a solid Thursday night. But “OC” is now the weakest link and getting weaker by the minute.

The problem is the premise. “OC” is violent and annoying. The Richard Wheatley story just goes on and on for no reason. The search for Meloni’s wife’s killer should have been resolved already. And “OC” is not like “Law & Order” shows. It’s just about one thing. The secondary characters and the rest of the show are undeveloped. If I see Dylan McDermott one more time as Wheatley, I will throw the TV out a window. (Not really, but last night the preview was so bad, I turned away immediately.)

So that’s the state of “Law & Order.” If they’re going to save “Organized Crime,” it’s time to retool it so that Meloni leads a repertory cast, and Wheatley is sent to jail. McDermott is too good an actor to waste on this stuff.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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