Law and Order cancelled: NBC axes new spin-off series in major blow to franchise
Law and Order: NBC teases SVU crossover
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The planned Law and Order SVU spin-off at NBC of the popular crime franchise is no longer moving ahead at NBC. The proposed series wanted to explore the trials and tribulations of a criminal defense team but, sadly for fans, they won’t see it come to fruition.
Dick Wolf, creator and producer behind the Law and Order franchise, had hoped For The Defense would be a deep dive into the criminal justice system, as well as examining the lawyers prosecuting.
In April, the new spin-off was ordered straight to series on NBC and was slated to be released later this year.
Fans are upset by the cancellation especially since the latest Law and Order spin-off Organized Crime, which stars former SVU squad member Elliot Stabler (played by Christopher Meloni), has been such a hit.
The news series was expected to follow the Thursday night lineup of season two of Organized Crime and SVU’s monumental 23rd season.
Viewers of the popular franchise took to Twitter to express their sadness, with one writing: “Huh. This is too bad…wonder what happened. The concept was great.”
Another said: “Oh no! I was really looking forward to it.”
“AND I WAS ACTUALLY EXCITED FOR THIS ONE HOW DARE THEY,” a third commented.
However, another fan pointed out excitement for the series stemmed from the fans looking forward to a change of pace after all these years: “This is sad to me. That was an interesting concept after two decades of rooting for the cops.”
Since the announcement of For The Defense, speculation had been rife as to which SVU characters will return for the new series.
Many hoped to see beloved former ADA Rafael Barba (Raúl Esparza), lawyer Nikki Staines (Callie Thorne), and defense attorney Trevor Langan (Peter Hermann) in the spin-off.
Despite the series not moving forward, there is another spin-off in the works, titled Law and Order: Hate Crimes.
Viewers are hoping For The Defense’s cancellation will make it more likely the second spin-off series will move ahead as planned.
Hate Crimes has been given a 13 episode order and was to make its debut on Law and Order SVU with a backdoor pilot.
The series suffered a setback in 2019 when NBC announced the project will be redeveloped to “flesh out the concept” and revealed an SVU introduction would no longer be happening.
Last year, Wolf was handed a positive update as the new spin-off was part of a multi-year deal contract and hinted the show will likely be moving to streaming service Peacock instead, but details remain scarce.
Though, the newest series appears to have softened the blow of losing For The Defense as one fan stated on Twitter: “I’m sad that for the defense isn’t happening but I’m glad there’s another spin-off in the works.”
Wolf, co-creator along with Carol Mendelsohn, spoke to People Magazine about his latest show, saying it is: “Exciting for me personally.”
The fresh take comes after having “spent the last 30 years on shows that played offense”.
But it looks like viewers will have to wait a little longer to see a show with lawyers under the microscope.
However, viewership for SVU remains incredibly strong after all these years, having broken the record for the longest-running live-action series in TV history.
Organized Crime has also been a major hit with audiences, leading to an immediate renewal for season two, and fans have loved the long-awaited reunion between Meloni’s Elliot Stabler and former partner Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay).
Law and Order: SVU and Law and Order: Organized Crime are both available to watch on NBC in the US. Season 22 of SVU is currently airing in the UK on Sky Witness, and is available to watch on Now TV as well.
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