At some point in the future, there may come a time when Law & Order creator Dick Wolf simply runs out of ideas. Fortunately, for fans of crime procedurals that generally resolve themselves in less than an hour, that time is not now. NBC—which has benefited from Wolf’s seemingly never-ending stream of new perspectives from which to present a crime series for more than 30 years—has ordered his latest concept, Law & Order: For the Defense, straight to series.
While the latest L&O iteration won’t have the built-in audience that comes with Chris Meloni’s posterior, it does have Carol Mendelsohn—the longtime executive producer of the CSI universe—as its showrunner. If there were an Avengers made up of crime TV franchise creators, these two would be it. According to NBC, the new series—which has been ordered straight to series—“will put the lawyers under the microscope, along with the criminal justice system with every week delivering the promise of a contemporary morality tale.”
“This new show is exciting for me personally,” Wolf said in a statement. “We spent the last 30 years on shows that played offense. Now it will be great to play defense, and being able to do it with Carol is an honor and an opportunity for both of us to do television that hasn’t been done before.”
So just how many Law & Order series does that make? Officially, seven (if we’re including the mothership): Law & Order; Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; Law & Order: Criminal Intent; Law & Order: Trial By Jury; Law & Order: LA; and Law & Order: True Crime. NBC has also been trying to get Law & Order: Hate Crimes going for several years now. Meaning that TNT should be well-stocked with reruns for many decades to come.