In a move that sadly comes as no surprise, NBC has ordered a new “Law & Order” series from producer Dick Wolf.
Yes, another one.
By our count, this will be the seventh — or is it the eighth? — edition to come out of Wolf’s “L&O” widget factory. To which we sneer and derisively attempt to mouth the iconic “dun, dun” sound effect.
The new series, according to Variety, is titled “Law & Order: Hate Crimes” and has received a 13-episode commitment. It is based on New York’s actual Hate Crimes Task Force, the second oldest bias-based task force in the U.S. The unit, which “pledges to uphold a zero tolerance policy against discrimination of any kind,” works under the NYPD’s real Special Victims Unit and often borrows SVU’s detectives to assist in their investigations.
The first incarnation of this new unit will be introduced in the latter part of the upcoming 20th season of “SVU.” I bet you can hardly wait.
God forbid that anyone try to keep Wolf from fattening his already gigantic wallet, but this bit of news is an example of what ails network television these days.
At a time when cable channels and streamers are attempting to bring us offbeat and provocative fare, the play-it-safe broadcasters are much more interested in regurgitation and reboots. (See new versions of “Magnum P.I.” and “Charmed” this fall … Then again, don’t).
And so NBC goes to the crime-procedural well once again. Let us remind you that this is the same network that will air not one, not two, but THREE “Chicago”-based shows from Wolf this fall. On the same night. (Maybe you can start a competing franchise in your hometown).
Apparently, Wolf earlier tried to sell NBC a show about the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but the network thought: “Hmmm. Maybe we should give someone else a chance to fill one of our few remaining time slots” and declined. (Making crucial decisions like this is why network programmers rake in the big bucks).
And so Wolf’s “FBI” will instead air on CBS this fall.
No thanks, I’ll pass.
Meanwhile, Wikipedia informs us that the original “Law & Order” series, its various spin-offs, the TV film, and crossover episodes from other shows constitute over 1,000 hours of programming.
God bless America. Dun-dun and … cha-ching.
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