Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is an American police procedural television drama series created by Dick Wolf as a spin-off of the crime drama Law & Order, which chronicles the life and crimes of the Special Victims Unit of the New York Police Department, the elite squad of detectives who investigate crimes of a sexual nature.
The first 13 seasons followed Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni), a seasoned veteran of the unit who has seen it all, and his partner, Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), whose difficult past - a product of rape - is the reason she joined the unit.
Captain Donald Cragen (Dann Florek) oversaw the unit with his tough but supportive approach to the team's complex cases, guiding the squad through the challenges they face every day.
Detective John Munch (Richard Belzer), a transfer from Baltimore's homicide unit, brought his acerbic wit, conspiracy theories and street-honed investigative skills to the team.
And his partner, Detective Odafin Fin Tutuola (Ice-T), added his unique sense of humour and investigative experience, making him a formidable match for Munch.
Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cabot (Stephanie March) and later Casey Novak (Diane Neal), Kim Greylek (Michaela McManus) and Rafael Barba (Raúl Esparza), brought closure to the intense investigations with her legal expertise.
Forensic psychiatrist George Huang (BD Wong) brought insight into the minds of the accused and often provided significant clues that lead to the resolution of a case, whilst Medical Examiner Melinda Warner (Tamara Tunie) lent her skills to uncover forensic evidence.
Since Season 14 a number of detectives and junior detectives have come and gone, including Chester Lake (Adam Beach), Nicholas Amaro (Danny Pino), Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) and Dominick Carisi, Jr. (Peter Scavanino).
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is a Wolf Films production in association with Universal Television. Dick Wolf is creator and executive producer; Warren Leight, Julie Martin, Jonathan Starch, Peter Jankowski and Arthur Forney are executive producers.