Fans of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" shed plenty of tears for Sgt. Olivia Benson last season as the leading lady on TV's longest running drama endured some serious brutality. But while the storyline promises to take a brighter turn for Benson in season 16, the tears will keep flowing.
At least they will for Mariska Hargitay, the woman behind the beloved character.
Hargitay visited TODAY Tuesday morning and welled up as she watched a preview clip featuring Benson and the new baby in her life.
"It's just so sweet," she said. "The storyline is so moving to me. This year is a very different season from last year. Olivia Benson gets this ... baby plopped in her lap. It's nothing shy of a miracle to the character."
TODAY's Hoda Kotb, who'll make a brief "SVU" appearance on the upcoming season, called Hargitay's emotional reaction "what I love about you." No doubt it's what fans love, too. After all, Hargitay is known for bringing a bit of herself into the role and for bringing some of the role into her real life.
"The show really sort of educated me to the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault," she explained of the inspiration behind her own Joyful Heart Foundation, a nonprofit group with the goal of helping abuse survivors heal.
The season premiere of "Law & Order: SVU" airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
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