‘Law & Order’ Crossover Premiere Event Beats Out Previous Season Ratings

Christopher Meloni and Stephanie Gunn
Will Hart/NBC
Will Hart/NBC

NBC’s three-hour Law & Order crossover premiere was the most-watched and highest-rated program the night that it aired, according to Live + 3 data obtained by Variety. The special aired from 8-11 p.m. on September 22, and the special event marked the debut of Season 22 of Law & Order, Season 24 of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Season 3 of Law & Order: Organized Crime.

Law & Order, the first of the bunch, landed a 1.0 rating in the key adults 18-49 demographic and 6.8 million total viewers through three days of measurement — the best performance of a Law & Order episode since Season 21 debuted in February. This marked a 36% increase in rating and a 20% increase in total viewership. In the 9 p.m. timeslot, Live + 3 data for the Season 24 premiere of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was even with the series’ four most recent episodes: an 18-49 rating of 1.4 with 7.7 total million viewers.

Closing Law & Order night at 10 p.m., Organized Crime posted a 1.2 key rating, up 8% from its four most recent episodes, and 7.3 million total viewers, up 27%. According to the results, most of the franchise’s fans tune in on-demand, via DVR and other digital platforms instead of during the initial airings on NBC.

In “Gimme Shelter,” a mysterious young girl is shot in cold blood, and Det. Frank Cosgrove (Jeffrey Donovan) teams up with Det. Jalen Shaw (Mehcad Brooks, in his first L&O episode) to track down her killer. Capt. Olivia Benson and Det. Elliot Stabler are called in to help when they realize they have more than a typical homicide case on their hands. After uncovering key evidence, Jack McCoy and ADA Nolan Price seek justice against an international crime ring, but complications threaten the outcome of their case.T

he three episodes that made up the crossover premiere are now the top NBC episodes on Peacock.

Law & Order, Thursdays, 8/7c, NBC

Law & Order: SVU, Thursdays, 9/8c, NBC

Law & Order: Organized Crime, Thursdays, 10/9c, NBC