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NBC orders new Law & Order series that focuses on hate crimes

Entertainment Weekly logo Entertainment Weekly 9/4/2018 Dan Snierson

a black sign with white text © Provided by TIME Inc. The Law & Order universe is expanding once again.

NBC announced on Tuesday that it has ordered 13 episodes of Law & Order: Hate Crimes.

The New York-set series, which comes from Law & Order mastermind Dick Wolf and former Law & Order: Special Victims Unit showrunner Warren Leight, is based on the real-life NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force, which takes on a very topical issue: crimes involving hate and discrimination. The bias-based task force, which is populated with an “elite, specially trained team of investigators,” falls under the purview of the Special Victims Unit, and it will make its first appearance later in the upcoming season of SVU.

“As Law & Order: SVU enters its remarkable 20th season, it is exciting to get back into business with Dick Wolf on a new Law & Order incarnation that feels extremely timely,” NBC Entertainment co-president of scripted programming Lisa Katz said in a statement. “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.” 

“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,” said Wolf in the 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.”

In addition to creating the Law & Order franchise — which now includes six spin-offs, including Hate Crimes — Wolf has birthed Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and Chicago Med.

Related slideshow: All the ADAs of Law & Order: SVU, ranked 

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