For over a decade, Law And Order: SVU has strived to tell the story of the NYPD and their special division in charge of investigating crimes of a sexual nature. Much like its forbearer before it, the show has taken a "ripped directly from the headlines" approach to storytelling, and in honor of that tradition, those in charge of Law And Order: SVU's are planning an episode that tackles a subject that could use some more time being discussed. Law and Order: SVU will tackle a transgender plotline in 2015.
Showrunner Warren Leight had revealed that the episode was not only happening, but is slated for the show's 17th season, according to THR. No other story details have been given, except that the character at the center will be a transgendered teen, and the episode will air sometime after this fall's season premiere.
The fact that Law And Order: SVU is tackling the subject of transgender teens and the ordeals they face is something that's actually quite hopeful. If done the right way, the episode could be a reminder of the potential for social commentary Law And Order can provide in a week's episode. What's more, this is a good opportunity for Leight and his team to cast a transgendered teen actor, in the hopes of giving an underrepresented demographic a chance to be properly represented in popular culture.
NBC has been taking some interesting risks as of late. The network has been attempting to get audiences involved with live event programming, like Peter Pan. NBC has also attempted massive Marvel Studios-style crossovers with a few of their procedurals, and the network is putting together a new Netflix-esque stunt they're about to pull with Aquarius. Along with all of the new ideas, SVU has already been renewed for Season 17, and the network has even considered a revival of the original Law And Order, that would continue the original recipe.
Throughout its various incarnations, Law And Order has always prided itself in staying on top of the headlines. So the fact that Bruce Jenner's recent interview with Diane Sawyer has inspired the NBC program to craft a story around a transgender character shouldn't surprise anyone. Here's hoping that everyone from the showrunner to the writers and crew can produce an episode that can fully flesh out the situation, without stooping to cheap stunt plots and thinly written caricatures.
Law And Order: SVU will see its 16th season finale on May 20th, with a season 17 premiere date still to be determined. You can find out when the network's summer programs will be premiering here.