Mariska Hargitay Directs Next Episode of ‘Law & Order: SVU’

Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson on Season 20 of "Law & Order: SVU"
Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson on Season 20 of "Law & Order: SVU," Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

The next episode of NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, airing tonight, January 16 on NBC, is directed by the show’s star, East Ender Mariska Hargitay

“She Paints for Vengeance” is the 11th episode of the show’s record-breaking 21st season. According to NBC: “After a sexual assault investigation is stalled for months, a woman puts her accusations against a popular athlete on a billboard.” The episode features guest stars Tonya Glanz and Wolé Parks, along with regulars Hargitay (as Olivia Benson), Kelli Giddish (Amanda Rollins), Peter Scanavino (Sonny Carisi), Ice-T (Fin Tutuola) and Jamie Gray Hyder (Kat Azar Tamin). The episode will also feature the first instance of Scanavino’s Carisi handling a court case as Assistant District Attorney. The character started as a detective.

The show’s crew has been expressing support for Hargitay’s work as director. Showrunner Warren Leight tweeted on January 14, “This Thursday, #SVU21 returns, with @Mariska back at the helm, where she belongs.” One of the series’ writers Lisa Takeuchi Cullen wrote, “It’s an extra special episode directed by @Mariska!”

Created by Dick Wolf as a spinoff of Law & Order—which ran for 20 seasons—SVU follows the trials and tribulations of the Special Victims Unit.

Law & Order: SVU airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on NBC.

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