Law & Order: SVU, Mariska Hargitay, Alec Baldwin

Michael Parmelee/NBC

Alec Baldwin is returning to scripted TV for the first time since 30 Rock ended with a role on Law & Order: SVU, and we have an exclusive sneak peek.

"Criminal Stories" is a very special episode of SVU: It's the first time series star Mariska Hargitay has stepped behind the camera as a director. Baldwin's appearance has been a long time coming. The former 30 Rock star is good friends with Hargitay, and the two had been talking about getting him on SVU for some time. Get a sneak peek at the two together below.

"When Mariska told me that she was directing, I thought, 'It's about time,'" Baldwin said. "It's very daunting to direct, because you're insisting people see you in a different way. You're kind of giving people, not orders, but suggesting things to them in a way you didn't before. You're relationship completely changes for that week…She's doing a fantastic job."

In "Criminal Stories," Baldwin plays Jimmy "Mac" MacArthur, an old-school newspaper columnist who gets full access to Sergeant Benson (Hargitay) and the SVU squad for a story. But when the rape case of a young Muslim woman (guest star Summer Bishil) escalates to a hate crime, Jimmy declares the whole thing a hoax. But is it?

In January, Hargitay told E! News she was itching to get in the director's chair.

"It's a long time coming; I've wanted to do it for a while. There are a lot of things that I've learned and collected. I know how to get performances, I know what buttons to push in people and I've been doing it for a long time…Since I've been on SVU, I get more joy, sometimes, from helping somebody else with their performance than my own," she said. "That's when I got the idea...It's just this idea of helping to tell the story or even help people get in touch, like how people help me to get to my soul. I'm up for the challenge...It feels like a natural progression."

Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal Family.)

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