The Law & Order franchise is one of the most successful in TV history thanks to the longevity of the original series, Law & Order: SVU, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. NBC gave a few other spinoffs a shot, although never with as much success as the first three. Now, a brand new show is in the works that will give Law & Order its sixth spinoff. The new series will be called Law & Order: Hate Crimes.
Unsurprisingly given the success of Dick Wolf with both the Law & Order and Chicago series, NBC went ahead and gave Law & Order: Hate Crimes a series order right off the bat. Audiences are guaranteed 13 episodes of the new series' first season, which indicates that NBC has faith in the new project. Hate Crimes will be set in New York City and based on the real-life Hate Crimes Task Force. The task force works to uphold a zero tolerance policy against all kinds of discrimination. The real-life task force is the second oldest bias-based task force in the United States, so Hate Crimes will undoubtedly have plenty of cases to use as inspiration.
Law & Order: Hate Crimes will be closely connected with Law & Order: SVU, which is set to kick off its twentieth season later this month. The real-life Hate Crimes Task Force works under NYPD's actual Special Victims Unit and with SVU's detectives to tackle hate crimes cases. The odds are pretty good that the Hate Crimes team will work with the folks in SVU, especially since the new show will launch in the second half of SVU Season 20, presumably with a backdoor pilot.
It should be interesting to see how Law & Order: Hate Crimes performs compared to past Law & Order spinoffs. Unlike the flopped Law & Order: LA, this new show will be set in New York, and a connection to SVU couldn't hurt, especially if the backdoor pilot leaves the door open for more crossovers between the characters. SVU hasn't hung on for two decades because fans no longer connect to the format, and it's possible that those fans could sign on for Hate Crimes. Of course, Trial by Jury was set in New York and didn't last more than 13 episodes before being cancelled, so we shouldn't count on Hate Crimes being an automatic hit. If it is a hit, could it be a new home for the SVU detectives if that show goes off the air after breaking a certain record?
You will get your first look at Hate Crimes when SVU introduces it on the small screen, presumably in the spring. Law & Order: SVU Season 20 premieres on Thursday, September 27 on NBC with a two-hour episode. For more viewing options now and in the not-too-distant future, check out our fall TV premiere schedule.