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NBC recently announced a new spinoff to the Law & Order franchise, Law & Order: Hate Crimes, and while many are excited about more crime drama, some on the internet are asking why? Whether the question is aimed to ask, "Why another Law & Order show" or "Why this subject matter," NBC Entertainment's Lisa Katz has an answer. The network's co-president of scripted programming addressed the questions in the initial announcement for the show, and laid out why NBC is making a Law & Order show about hate crimes:
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. 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.
Lisa Katz mentioned that while it's great that Law & Order: SVU is still chugging along for Season 20, the network is excited to bring a new entry in the Law & Order franchise to viewers. While the subject matter of SVU isn't necessarily played out, Katz also pointed out the timeliness in doing a show like Law & Order: Hate Crimes, also noting the extensive these issues are relevant in today's world. Katz added that hate crime numbers have risen into the double-digits in the United States' ten largest cities and that the topic is one with a lot of stories that are "begging to be explored."
With Law & Order: Hate Crimes exploring those stories, creator Dick Wolf also hopes it will encourage the masses to engage in conversation about these incidents. The creator pointed to the impact he believes shows like Law & Order: SVU have had on society and hopes that Law & Order: Hate Crimes can do the same thing:
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. 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.
Co-creator of Law & Order: Hate Crimes Warren Leight appears to agree with Dick Wolf, and indicated there are far more things to consider in these cases beyond who is right and wrong. Leight, who was also the former showrunner of Law & Order: SVU, specifically credited the investigators of these crimes in New York, a city in which he stated was "complicated and diverse." Leight added that he's excited to collaborate again with Wolf, and help shed some light on the reality of this issue.