Law & Order: SVU is making history. The crime procedural has been renewed by NBC for a 21st season, making it the longest-running prime-time live-action series ever, Variety reports. Only The Simpsons has been on TV longer. As a result of the renewal, Lt. Olivia Benson, played by actress Mariska Hargitay, will become the longest-running female character in a live-action series. The show, which began in 1999, is a spinoff from the original Law & Order series created by Dick Wolf.