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Law & Order: SVU has been a mainstay of NBC programming for a great many years now, and the show never seems to run out of stories about the dedicated detectives investigating sexually-based offenses. As would be expected of a show that has been on the air for nearly two decades now, a great many members of the cast have come and gone. NBC has announced a new face who will be joining SVU when it returns in the fall. Brooke Shields landed a major role in Season 19.

We now know that Brooke Shields will appear throughout Season 19 in her new recurring role on Law & Order: SVU. THR reports that the show is keeping details about the new character secret for the time being, but her character will be a force for change that "will shake up" Olivia Benson's world. Shields has already revealed that her SVU role is quite different from any other character she's ever played, and she's looking forward to getting to "stir the SVU pot a bit." Given how many projects Brooke Shields has worked on over her long career in showbiz, her new character must be pretty remarkable.

Brooke Shields got her big break on the small screen on NBC, so it's only fitting that this new kind of character will bring her back to the Peacock Network. We probably won't confuse her SVU character with her breakout TV role as Susan Keane on Suddenly Susan, but it should be fun to see her on NBC again. Shields landed another starring role on NBC back in 2008 with Lipstick Jungle, which lasted only a single season. More recently, she appeared on Fox's Scream Queens and Hallmark's When Calls the Heart.

She's not the only new member of the SVU cast for Season 19. Philip Winchester, formerly of Chicago Justice, will be a regular in the new season. He'll reprise his Justice role of lawyer Peter Stone. A major behind-the-scenes change has happened as well. Michael S. Chernuchin -- also formerly of the now-cancelled Chicago Justice -- is on board as showrunner. The switch will keep Chernuchin in the Dick Wolf franchise family and possibly breathe some fresh life into SVU.

SVU could probably use some fresh life. Season 18 scored some of its lowest numbers ever in both viewership and ratings, with season Live+Same day averages of 5.82 million viewers and a 1.34 in the key 18-49 demographic. Those numbers aren't terrible, but they could be better, especially compared to the ratings from earlier seasons of SVU. Perhaps a big name and heavy-hitting actress like Brooke Shields will be enough to draw viewers back to the series.

We'll have to wait and see. Season 19 of Law & Order: SVU will debut on Wednesday, September 27 at 9 p.m. ET. For your other viewing options now and in the coming months, take a look at our fall TV premiere guide and our 2017 Netflix schedule.

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