Show: Law & Order: SVU
Banking On: $395,000 per episode
Worth the Investment? Yes
Complex Says: Everyone knows sex sells. Combine that with our nation’s love of crime dramas and you get Law & Order: SVU, the Law & Order franchise's highest rated property. Unlike the others, this one zeroes in on sex offenses and the detectives that investigate them.
Though you can hate on the show all you want, there’s no touching Hargitay, whose portrayal of Detective Olivia Benson has landed her well-deserved Emmy and Golden Globe awards. The actress commits hard, creating a sensual character who still manages to dominate at work. Hargitay’s Benson is persistent without being a pain in the ass, and hard-headed with good reason—she’s always right.
Equally impressive is the level of TLC she shows her victims and cases alike, committed to the point that she’s gone undercover to help avenge the abused. If there was any doubt about the actress’ range, her total sonning of the prison predator (with whom she had a close call) in Season Nine should serve as firm proof.