NBC has ordered the Dick Wolf series Law & Order: Hate Crimes, starting with a 13-episode order of the spinoff series. The first incarnation will be introduced in the latter part of the upcoming 20th season of Law & Order:Special Victims Unit.
Co-created with former Law & Order: SVU showrunner Warren Leight, the concept is based on New York’s Hate Crimes Task Force. The unit works under the NYPD's real Special Victims Unit and often borrows SVU’s detectives to assist in their investigations.
Law & Order: Hate Crimes is set in New York, where crimes motivated by discrimination are investigated by an elite team of investigators. “Going behind the headlines and viral videos, these diverse, dedicated and passionate detectives will stop at nothing to bring these criminals to justice,” according to NBC.
“As Law & Order: SVU enters its remarkable 20th season, it is exciting to get back into business with Dick Wolf on a new Law & Order incarnation that feels extremely timely,” said Lisa Katz, co-president of scripted programming, NBC Entertainment. “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.”
Added Tracey Pakosta, co-president of scripted programming: “We’re confident that Dick and Warren will examine these cases in all their complexity and deliver another riveting series for our country, currently grappling with an escalation of these crimes and the motivations behind them.”
Law & Order debuted in 1990 and launched several spinoffs, including Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
“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. “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.”
Leight was showrunner and executive producer of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit from 2011-16.
“I’m extremely impressed by the actual men and women investigating these cases in a city as complicated and diverse as New York,” Leight said. “The work they are doing puts them on the front lines in a battle for the soul of our city and nation. I’m thrilled about the chance to reunite with Dick and NBC to portray the reality of this crisis.”
Law & Order: Hate Crimes is a Wolf Entertainment production in association with Universal Television. Wolf and Leight are creators and executive producers. Peter Jankowski and Arthur Forney will also be executive producers.
Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.
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