Law and Order SVU ratings report: Week of March 21, 2019

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- Pictured: "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBC)
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- Pictured: "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBC) /

How did this week’s Law and Order SVU season 20 episode do in the TV ratings? Here’s the March 21 edition of the SVU Ratings Report.

With the 20th season of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit season continuing, it’s time for another look at the Dick Wolf series’ TV ratings with the SVU Ratings Report.

This week was the first week of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, so once again, live sports dominated scripted television. That was reflected in Thursday’s broadcast TV ratings.

Thursday’s Law & Order: SVU episode “Blackout” registered 4.27 million people watching live; that was down from last week’s 4.31 (-0.04, or a loss of 40,000 people).

But even so, the series was still third amongst the 14 programs that aired on broadcast TV that evening. It was still ranked sixth amongst adults 18-49, though, which means that it didn’t grow amongst younger viewers.

That makes sense, though, because a lot of people in that key demographic were probably tuned into basketball. Only three scripted shows in the entire night had over 4 million viewers: the ABC duo of Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19, and Special Victims Unit.

Everything else was way down, which is where you can see the effect of sports on TV viewers. It will continue through Apr. 8, so it’s worth keeping an eye on these numbers to see the prolonged impact as the NCAA tournament goes on.

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But for Olivia Benson and her team to essentially hold their audience against the opening round, that’s something to be impressed by, even if the number itself may not be smashing. Airing later at 10 p.m. will likely work in the show’s favor, and as long as it can keep most of its live viewers, that’s good. That’s more than other series are doing right now.

dark. Next. Callie Thorne discusses this week's SVU episode

For the latest SVU season 20 spoilers and news, plus more on all of Dick Wolf’s other series, follow the Dick Wolf category at One Chicago Center.