Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Richard Belzer, Christopher Meloni, Mariska Hargitay, Dann Florek, Michelle Hurd
Dick Wolf
Country of origin
Original channel
Legal drama, police procedural
Years on air
No. of seasons
13 (as of October 2011)
No. of episodes
277 (as of October 2011)

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is an American police procedural and legal drama series created by Dick Wolf for NBC. It is still running today.

Series summaryEdit

Each episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit follows the efforts of New York police detectives and prosecutors to deal with crimes involving sexual acts and/or children. The show has had several different characters in its ensemble, but the best-known are probably detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) and John Munch (Richard Belzer). John Munch is notable for having originated in another show, Homicide: Life on the Street; after that show was canceled, the character left the Baltimore Police Department and was transferred to New York.

Note that Munch appearances that took place prior to SVU are counted in the Homicide: Life on the Street entry.

Westphall connections to Law & Order: Special Victims UnitEdit

  • In the final episode of Arrested Development, "Exit Strategy", Munch is briefly seen working undercover to try to extract confessions from criminals.
  • In "They Say it's Your Birthday", an episode of The Beat, Munch helps out Dorigan and Marinelli.
  • In the (untitled) fifth episode of the first season of Luther, the titular character tells his colleague to contact Detective Munch in New York's Special Victims Unit.
  • The Wire was set in Baltimore, the same city as Homicide: Life on the Street; in the episode "Took", Munch is seen at a bar, complaining about the service. He mentions that he used to own a bar himself - this was a recurring subplot in Homicide.
  • The X-Files saw Munch trying to interrogate Fox Mulder in the episode "Unusual Suspects"; as the episode was a flashback, it was actually set in the interrogation room from Homicide (lit low and hard to see, as the original set was unavailable).
  • Munch also appeared in the Law & Order: Trial by Jury episode "Skeleton (part 2)".


  • Conviction revolved around former SVU assistant district attorney Alexandra Cabot (Stephanie March) returning to New York after a stint in witness protection, and was focused more on characters and back stories than its parent show.
  • Law & Order: LA was a short-lived attempt to revive the Law & Order format, moving the action out of New York for the first time in the US franchise's history. It span directly out of SVU, which introduced Las Angeles's detective Rex Winters (Skeet Ulrich).

Non-Westphall connectionsEdit

  • The children's show Sesame Street featured a spoof of Special Victims Unit, complete with its own Munch. However, this Munch was a Muppet character and not voiced by Richard Belzer, and so does not count as a crossover.

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