There's a new Law and Order in the works!
NBC has officially ordered 13 episodes of the latest Law & Order variant, Law & Order: Hate Crimes. The franchise's original mastermind Dick Wolf will serve as the series' co-creator, alongside former SVU showrunner Warren Leight.
Based on a real-life NYPD task force, the show will be set in NYC much like its predecessors. Given the name, it's not much of a surprise that the series will focus on crimes involving hate and discrimination. The topical issue easily lends itself to the same "ripped from the headlines" format as SVU.
"Considering that last year there was a double-digit rise in hate crimes in our 10 largest cities — the highest total in over a decade — it seemed like this topic is begging to be explored," said NBC Entertainment co-president of scripted programming Lisa Katz.
As in real life, the hate crimes task force falls under SVU's jurisdiction. Viewers will be introduced to the Hate Crimes squad in an upcoming episode of Special Victims Unit, set to air sometime in the second half of Season 20.
"As with all of my crime shows, I want to depict what's really going on in our cities and shine a light on the wide-ranging victims and show that justice can prevail," Wolf said in a statement. "Twenty years ago when SVU began, very few people felt comfortable coming forward and reporting these crimes, but when you bring the stories into people's living rooms – with characters as empathetic as Olivia Benson – a real dialogue can begin. That's what I hope we can do with this new show in a world where hate crimes have reached an egregious level."
Well, if Hate Crimes is anything like SVU, we have a feeling we'll like it.