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Law & Order: SVU’s Mariska Hargitay Welcomes New Series Regular

Law & Order SVU Mariska Hargitay and Demore BarnesLaw & Order SVU Mariska Hargitay and Demore Barnes

The wait is over! Law & Order: SVU returns for its highly anticipated Season 22 this week. Get ready to see even more of some familiar faces.

Law & Order: SVU Is Growing

Demore Barnes, who debuted last season on SVU as Deputy Chief Christian Garland, has been bumped up to series regular, on the long-running Dick Wolf-created series. Mariska Hargitay, who plays Captain Olivia Benson, took to social media to tout Barnes’ new status.

Possibly getting injured in the line of duty is a reality for Olivia, and Hargitay is not immune from work injuries either. She reveals she hurt her knee as it struck her desk when she was shooting the first video with Barnes. “Ow!” Hargitay cried out. “That was my desk!”

On her second take, Hargitay said: “Let’s try that again. This time I’m sitting down.” Barnes said: “I’m thrilled to be here. We’re looking forward to you seeing [the premiere].”

The second video went off without a hitch, but Hargitay produced a third video, this one showing both Barnes and Peter Scanavino, who plays detective-turned-assistant district attorney Dominick Carisi Jr.

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“Hey everyone trying this again after I bashed my knee on my desk….” Hargitay posted. “Just wanted to welcome our new series regular the amazing @demorebarnes to the #SVU family. See you tomorrow night #GuardiansAndGladiators #CaptainAndTheChief #BensonAndGarland #WelcomeToTheFamily #SVU22 #SeasonPremiere #KneededARedo #JointEffort #HeJointOurSquad #KneededThatLaugh #IKneedaStop #YouJustKneedToWatchSVU.”

Tomorrow night’s episode is titled Guardians and Gladiators and has the squad trying to solve an assault that took place in Central Park. Alas, they’re hampered from doing so by both their own blind spots and a community that is losing trust in the police.

In addition to Hargitay, Barnes, and Scanavino, Law & Order: SVU stars Ice-T as Odafin “Fin” Tutuola, Kelli Giddish as Amanda Rollins, and Jamie Gray Hyder as Katriona Tamin. Law & Order: SVU going into its 22nd season means that the series has already surpassed television’s longest-running primetime drama Gunsmoke, which ran for 20 seasons from 1955 to 1975. It returned for a handful of reunion movies starting in 1987.

While SVU has more seasons than Gunsmoke, it has a ways to go before tying it with number of episodes. Gunsmoke produced 635 episodes. SVU has completed approximately 480. However, 233 Gunsmoke episodes were only 30 minutes in length. Law & Order: SVU airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on NBC.

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