‘Law & Order: SVU’ and ‘NCIS’ Boast the Same Secret to Success

by Jeremy Spirogis
Dennis Haysbert, SVU star Mariska Hargitay, and NCIS star Mark Harmon

Law & Order: SVU has been on the air for over twenty years, premiering in 1999, whereas NCIS is on its seventeenth season and counting — boasting unchallenged scores amongst primetime community reveals. 

Both reveals deal with catching the unhealthy man, and every episode typically brings a brand new legal into the highlight — supplying each the week’s narrative focus, in addition to an origin level from which to develop the principle gamers’ characterization, in addition to their interrelationships. 

Dennis Haysbert, SVU star Mariska Hargitay, and NCIS star Mark Harmon
Dennis Haysbert, Mariska Hargitay, and Mark Harmon throughout 10th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards | Ron Wolfson/WireImage for Turner

In brief, long-gestating arcs subsist beneath and infrequently rise above a single episode’s narrative. The method typifies each the crime dramas. However, many different procedurals take the same strategy — Criminal Minds, Hawai Five-O, Lucifer (to an extent), and extra.

So, what makes NCIS and Law & Order: SVU so particular? If analyzing each reveals, one side involves the floor: each place a singular — not too younger actor — on the middle, because the hero. Let’s check out Olivia Benson and Agent Gibbs. 

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Inside ‘SVU’ lead Olivia Benson and ‘NCIS’ man in cost, Agent Gibbs 

While Both SVU and NCIS premiered when their leads had been a lot youthful, as each reveals have been on the air for over fifteen years, they’ve allowed their results in age gracefully — coming to just accept that age just isn’t merely a problem, however a profit. 

As Vice explains, one episode of SVU targeted on Benson’s age, as she was “too old” to run after the perps following a faculty capturing. While the episode was unhappy to look at, it was narratively believable. Though a serious threat inside the crime collection style, it represented a sleek show of growing older — an acknowledgment that she has extra to supply than her bodily functionality within the discipline. 

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With age, Benson has acquired extra data and knowledge, which can’t and shouldn’t be changed for a youthful selection. The identical holds true for Mark Harmon’s Gibbs. Though he should be chasing down unhealthy guys and going after the legal, with every season, he turns into extra of an teacher, a guiding hand to the combat-ready brokers. 

The ‘SVU’ and ‘NCIS’ goal demographic

At the middle of SVU and NCIS, there exists a singular character who carries the torch.  A personality who grows and transforms with time — who’s overwhelmed and battered and emotionally traumatized — but at all times emerges from the ashes. And although rising a bit much less able to swing a punch or run a mile, they’re ten occasions extra able to paved the way. 

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A powerful protagonist, who’s above 40, is on the middle of the story, and neither character is devalued with time, which is commonly the case in Hollywood. History suggests Tinseltown doesn’t favor those that have grown gray. 

Every age demographic needs to see a lead character on TV who appears to be like like them, who’s going by means of the identical life hurdles that they’re. Thus, it ought to come as no shock that each reveals boast a big 40+ viewing demographic.

Network tv, on the whole, has come to boast an older viewing demographic, as youthful viewers flock to streaming companies. This is to not say, nonetheless, that solely older people watch these reveals; somewhat, that is to say that each networks capitalize on presenting lead characters — focal factors — whom Hollywood too typically dismisses as sub-par for the highlight. 

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