‘Law & Order’ is Making an Important Spinoff: Hate Crimes

The year was 1990 (though, if you look at Season 1 of the original, it looks like 1970-ish). Dick Wolf brought a new kind of show to NBC. A cold open. An ominous track by Mike Post. And characters that immediately got you thinking.

Each show had sprinkles of a continuous timeline, but each case stood completely on its own. “Ripped from the Headlines.” And one of the greatest and longest-running franchises in TV history was born.

Law & Order. And now, it’s about to birth its seventh spinoff, which could not come at a more important time. L&O: Hate Crimes. 

Go ahead. You know you want to do it. Hit play.

The NYPD has a real-life hate crimes, one of the first in the country to focus on such heinous acts. According to THRDick Wolf, the franchise’s creator and executive producer, earned himself an order for 13 episodes.

Like with any spinoff, Hate Crimes will need a catapult into pop culture. Enter Olivia Benson and the rest of the crew from Special Victims Unit (which is still one season and 22 episodes shy of the original’s tenure — 20 seasons, 456 episodes).

“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 Tuesday 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.”

Amen to that. His shows have always been timely, relevant, and cut through the crap to teach viewers what is really going on.

We have been through Jamestown, the Civil War, Jim Crow, Sit-ins, the Movement… and for what?! So old, saltine gomers set in their moth-eaten ways and police officers who absolutely give the rest of the boys and girls in blue an awful name.

(Full disclosure: I worked for my local police department for six great years. Some of the best people I know have a badge, so trust… those other cops can suck it all day long.)

Lisa Katz, NBC’s co-president of scripted programming, called Hate Crimes, “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,” Katz said.

Series cast has not been announced.

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