'Law & Order: SVU' season 18 spoilers, release date, news: Mariska Hargitay jokes about the set being a day care center following show's baby boom

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A week before “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” opens up its momentous season 18, there have been a couple of press activities that the cast and crew have been doing in preparation for the show’s comeback. One of which was a set visit during the procedural’s ongoing filming for the upcoming installment.

Today.com caught up with “SVU” veteran Mariska Hargitay in between filming as she easily slipped off her Olivia Benson persona and effortlessly socialized with the press. Chalk it up to her almost two-decade stint in the police procedural that she knows how to charm everyone visiting the set.

“You can’t be a cast member on this show and not have like a baby a year,” she laughingly said referring to her cast mates off-screen personas. “I have three kids, Ice-T [Det. Odafin Tutuola] and Kelli [Giddish, Det. Amanda Rollins] [have one baby each], Peter [Scanavino, Det. Dominick Carisi Jr.] has two, and there are days when the kids are here and you’re like, ‘Is this a day care center?'” she added.

It is no secret that there is buzz that water in the “SVU” set has some kind of mystical baby booming powers. In August 2015, the cast visited Ice-T’s talk show with longtime wife Coco and laughed about the matter. At that time, the former rapper and model were expecting their first born who arrived in November, Giddish was pregnant and Scanavino’s wife was also carrying.

Slipping back into the world of Manhattan’s SVU, the elite agents will each be going through some tough times starting with Hargitay. The division lieutenant is still harboring guilt over the sudden death of Andy Karl’s character, Mike Dodds, in the show’s recent season ender. Add to the fact that Robert John Burke’s Tucker is also offering her a new life with him.

“Ultimately the relationship with Tucker will be a complicated relationship,” new showrunner Rick Eid explained to Entertainment Weekly. “But it’s just a question of can these two people who’ve seen what they’ve seen, connect in a way that they can ride off into the sunset?”

Carisi, on the other hand, will have to make a huge decision in choosing to stay with the SVU or make his way back to the District Attorney’s office. Whatever path he eventually decides on will have an effect on Rollins given that the two have significantly gotten closer over last season.

On top of “SVU” fleshing out its characters individually, their weekly cases are also not giving the New York detectives any breather. The premiere episode of the season titled “Terrorized” will have Ral Esparza’s Barba going up against Benson over a controversial case. It will then be followed by “Making a Rapist” which is mined from the premise of Netflix’s hit special “Making a Murder.” Vice president Joe Biden is tipped for a special cameo as himself in the same episode which will put Finn on the spot.

“Law & Order: SVU” season 18 is scheduled to premiere on Sept. 21 and will continue to air every Wednesday, 9 p.m. ET on NBC.