I have the episodes saved since the start of the season, so I havent frequented this thread in a while. Anyhow, I've come to the conclusion that this show survives because of the actors, not the story. Please don't take this as a critique of SVU being bad, I LOVE this show; er, I love these actors. The stories seem very much of the same formula. I do like that Wolf is exploring the characters personal life more. Like Olivia with her brother, and Eliot with the family problems. Even ICE-T and the family issues he had late last season.
These actors (and actresses, if you will) are prolific and will probably go on beyond SVU. (They make a ton of dollars per episode.) Ok, so what sparked me to write this was that I just saw that Chris Meloni has many things coming down the pike...http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005221/#actor2000
He's got movies in the queue!
In addition, Mariska is a mom and had been in plays down in TriBeCa (at least she did a couple of years ago.) I think she was in a david mamet play or something.
Any, this weekend I'll catch up on the SVU episodes, and hope that these actors stick around for us all to admire