Star Ice-T wrote that he was "kinda in shock" over the news

By Benjamin VanHoose
February 28, 2020 11:13 AM
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Have no fear, television fans — Law & Order: SVU isn’t going away anytime soon.

On Thursday, NBC announced that it ordered three more seasons of the procedural crime drama, which is currently airing its record-breaking 21st season. The Special Victims Unit spin-off displaced Gunsmoke and the flagship Law & Order series as the longest-running live-action primetime television show.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with [creator Dick Wolf] over the decades and it goes without saying he remains one of the most influential producers in history,” Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBCUniversal Content Studios, told Variety. “He is a visionary unlike any other whose impact has changed the entire television landscape.”

Stars of the fan-favorite series, which premiered in 1999, reacted to the news on social media, celebrating the record-setting renewal for seasons 22, 23 and 24.

“Mic drop. Boom. Dun dun. Any of them will do. Thank you @NBC #SVU21 ➡️#SVU24 #Epic,” wrote Mariska Hargitay on Instagram, referencing the show’s iconic opening sound effects.

Mariska Hargitay in Law & Order: SVU
Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Costar Ice-T posted that he’s “kinda in shock” over the series’ extended life on the small screen, and showrunner Warren Leight made it a point to thank loyal fans.

“Up late, after a long but good day. Want to thank all the #SVUDiehards who’ve stayed with the show these many years,” tweeted Leight. “We would never have received today’s THREE YEAR PICK UP from @NBC without your support and loyalty.”

He added: “From our entire cast, crew, and team, thank you.”

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PEOPLE Special Edition — Law & Order: SVU, now available

Hargitay, 56, recently opened up to PEOPLE about her long-running tenure as Olivia Benson on SVU.

“I hope it doesn’t go on forever. I hope that one day we’ll go, ‘Wait, what? This doesn’t happen,’ [and] that this kind of sexual violence goes away,” she said. “… But right now I am still staggered by how many people come up to me and say: ‘Your show changed my life. Your show is the reason that I reported. Your show is the reason I didn’t wash off the DNA.'”

She added: “That is the most gratifying part of my job.”

For more on Law & Order SVU, pick up PEOPLE’s new special edition — featuring cast favorites and the most shocking of all 470 episodes — available now on Amazon and wherever magazines are sold.