An Insane Number Of Minutes Was Spent Watching Law And Order: SVU This Year

When I think about watching a lot of TV, it’s a thought that usually revolves around binge-watching a show on Netflix or catching up with a new show via a televised marathon during the holidays. But my mental train is on such a miniscule track when compared to the behemoth of Law & Order: SVU, which was reportedly the most-watched show of 2015, with billions upon billions of minutes taken in by viewers over the past 12 months. That is an astounding amount of rape and kidnapping to live through.

Here’s the total number, according to a guy (i.e. misguided hero) who apparently went through Nielsen’s national TV ratings for the past 52 weeks to put this and a lot of other data together.

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I don’t know if my brain can properly grasp the concept of 161,000,000,000 minutes of Law & Order: SVU. And it’s even more arguably astounding that the total there apparently doesn’t even account for first-run episodes on NBC, and only takes the syndicated reruns on USA. I can’t imagine how many more minutes would be thrown into that if NBC airings were also added in.

Currently in the middle of Season 17, Law & Order: SVU definitely has enough episodes to keep audiences happy for an entire year’s worth of repeats, with 375 of them, not counting crossovers on other shows. If we take every episode as a 42-minute installment, that means 3,833,333,333 viewings took place. Mindblowing. And if each of the 375 episodes was a part of it all, every episode would have been enjoyed around 10,222,222 times. I think.

In another tweet, Mulvihill provides his own astonishing correlation.

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Yet somehow, USA lost viewers this year.

Will 2016 be the year that people watch 162 billion minutes of Law & Order: SVU? We’ll have to wait and see. But until then, don’t forget to reconnect with the hit procedural when it returns to NBC for “Catfishing Teacher” on Wednesday, January 6, 2016.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.