The series almost had a much darker title
Dick Wolf, creator of the original "Law & Order" drama, initially planned for his new series to be titled "Law & Order: Sex Crimes."
Barry Diller, head of the studio that would produce the show at the time, didn't want "sex" in the title.
A longtime star of the show started with only a small part
The rapper only agreed to four episodes at first because he was concerned about the "brutal" shooting schedule, saying in his memoir, "I'd rather have less money and more freedom."
Speaking of Richard Belzer...
Richard Belzer became an original cast member of "SVU" when he asked the show's producers if he could reprise his role as Detective John Munch.
Mariska Hargitay takes method acting to a whole new level
Shortly after being cast in the series as Olivia Benson in 1999, actor Mariska Hargitay actually became a trained rape victim advocate after her fan mail switched from mainly autograph requests to victims sharing their stories with the woman behind the fictional detective.
The highest-paid cops in the country
By season 12 of "SVU," series stars Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay had entered the ranks of television's highest-paid actors on a drama.
Each were earning nearly $400,000 an episode, an amount that TV Guide claimed at the time was only exceeded by Hugh Laurie of "House, M.D."
Taylor Swift's obsession with the show
Swift is such a big fan of the show that she even named one of her cats after Olivia, and the pampered kitty (and her adopted feline sibling Meredith) have their own gigantic following on social media, where Swift posts pictures of the cats to her millions of Instagram followers.
Law & Order: SVU has set all kinds of longevity records
It's the longest-running drama, live-action series, and live-action spinoff of all time.
With the 21st season renewal, Benson became the longest-running primetime character in history.
Jennifer Love Hewitt could have replaced Mariska Hargitay
According to TV Line in May 2011, Hargitay signed a new deal with "SVU" producers to work less hours but at the similar salary she'd been receiving ($385,000 per episode), which meant the show would need to make up for the lack of Benson — prompting them to consider hiring Hewitt.
The Vice President guest-starred on Law & Order: SVU
On his 2016 "SVU" episode, he opens the show, honoring Lt. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) for leading the Special Victims Unit team in working through the substantial backlog of untested rape kits.
Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni are extremely close
Meloni considers Hargitay such a positive influence on his life that he made his former co-star his daughter's godmother.
The effect of 9/11 on Law & Order: SVU
While "Law & Order: SVU" often takes inspiration from real-life news stories for its plots, creator and producer Dick Wolf said 9/11 wouldn't directly factor into the series. "Our characters may make reference to it, as any New Yorkers would," he said.