Mariska Hargitay: ‘Leno’ “Ruined” ‘SVU’s Ratings

by | January 20, 2010 at 1:32 PM | Law Order SVU, TV News

Mariska Hargitay (NBC)

Mariska Hargitay (NBC)

Mariska Hargitay is the latest star to come out against NBC’s since-reversed decision to give Jay Leno a nightly 10 o’clock show, at the expense of several proven dramas.

“It ruined our numbers,” the ‘Law & Order: SVU‘ headliner says in the current issue of More Magazine. With the long-running procedural relocated to Wednesdays at 9, “[for] the first four episodes, we were considerably down because nobody knew when the show was on.”

Now halfway through its eleventh season, ‘SVU’ at last count placed a distant third behind Fox’s ‘American Idol‘ and CBS’ ‘Criminal Minds,’ and is just barely edging out ABC’s ‘Modern Family’/'Cougar Town’ comedy block.

The good news here, as previously mentioned, is that NBC is pulling ‘The Jay Leno Show‘ from its 10 o’clock perch effective February 12, and filling the void with such dramas as, yes, ‘SVU.’

That shuffle should help ‘SVU’ reclaim its audience of 10 million-plus as well as some buzz. “It was doing so well” in that slot, Hargitay notes. “Why mess with it?”

Speaking of messes – segue alert! – ‘SVU’ guest star Mischa Barton reportedly turned what should have been a quick Tuesday shoot into a 10-hour day by repeatedly flubbing her lines – of which she had all of seven, playing a streetwalker.

“Mariska kept prompting her and saying, ‘It’s your line Mischa,’” a source tells the gossip site RadarOnline, adding that cast and crew soon grew wary of the former ‘O.C.’ star’s “unprofessionalism.”

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