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[09/13/06 - 12:00 AM]
NBC's 'Svu' Premieres on Tuesday, September 19 at 10 PM ET/PT - New Season Boasts Star Wattage with Marcia Gay Harden on Premiere Night

[via press release from NBC]

NBC's 'SVU' PREMIERES ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 AT 10 PM ET/PT - NEW SEASON BOASTS STAR WATTAGE WITH MARCIA GAY HARDEN ON PREMIERE NIGHT

FILM STAR CONNIE NIELSEN AND LEGENDARY COMEDIAN AND ACTOR JERRY LEWIS HEADLINE A ROSTER OF GUEST STARS ON SEASON 8 OF NBC'S LAW & ORDER: SVU

Leslie Caron, Brian Dennehy, Robert Vaughn, Marcia Gay Harden, Gregory Harrison, Betty Buckley, Deborah Raffin and Paget Brewster Will Appear

SVU Returns on Tuesday, September 19 at 10:00 PM ET/PT

NEW YORK � September 13, 2006 � "Law & Order: SVU" returns to NBC for its eighth season on Tuesday, September 19 at 10:00 PM ET. The series, boasts some heavy star power this fall when Connie Nielsen, Leslie Caron, Brian Dennehy, Robert Vaughn, Marcia Gay Harden, Gregory Harrison, Betty Buckley, Deborah Raffin and Paget Brewster make guest starring appearances. Nielsen ("Gladiator") will appear in a six-episode arc while Detective Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) goes undercover. Nielsen will play Detective Dani Beck, an NYPD warrants officer and will be partnered with Det. Stabler (Chris Meloni). The six-episode arc was filmed while Hargitay was on maternity leave.

In addition, the show has earned an Emmy win for Detective Mariska Hargitay (Det. Olivia Benson) and an Emmy nomination for Dtective Christopher Meloni (Det. Eliot Stabler). Meloni, receiving his first nomination for his role as the intense, but caring Detective Stabler and Hargitay, her third nomination and first win for the indefatigable Detective Benson.

Executive Producer Neal Bear said, "We're thrilled with Mariska's Emmy win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and Chris' nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series this year, underscoring the great performances both of them gave this season. The intensity continues with new episodes that explore both their characters: the audience will discover a secret about Benson's personal life that may shatter her, and Stabler will confront a problem he never expected." He added, "After some turmoil in Benson and Stabler's relationship last season, they will come to depend on each other more than they ever have in the past."

The emotional season premiere features Benson (Hargitay) in a showdown with guest star Marcia Gay Harden who reprises her role as Star Morrison. Hargitay will appear on another episode of the series until she goes underground working in the computer crimes division. Legendary comedian and actor Jerry Lewis will make a rare television appearance on SVU in October. In the episode titled "Uncle," Lewis will play a homeless man and be revealed as both a suspect in a murder case and the long lost uncle of Det. John Munch, played by Richard Belzer.

Last season boasted gripping storylines and powerful guest starring performances from Rebecca De Mornay, Natalie Cole, Lou Diamond Phillips, Anthony Anderson, and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges. Bridges, coming off of critically-acclaimed roles in the Oscar-winning "Crash" and "Hustle and Flow," made his television debut in a dramatic storyline that begs for a return.

Ice-T, Dann Florek, B.D. Wong, Diane Neal and Tamara Tunie also star in "Law & Order: SVU."

"Law & Order: SVU" is produced by Wolf Films in association with NBC Universal Television Studio.





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· LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT (NBC)











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