Law & Order is one of the longest running television franchises in history, and it’s still going, with a brand new series announced this week.
Creators Dick Wolf and Warren Leight revealed the newest iteration to join the family will be Law & Order: Hate Crimes. It will air on NBC, joined by the only other Law & Order spin-off currently airing on a regular schedule, the popular Special Victims Unit.
The series will follow New York City’s real-life Hate Crimes Task Force.
According to the network, the show’s focus will be ‘an elite, specially trained team of investigators’ who ‘stop at nothing to bring these criminals to justice’.
Wolf said in a statement he hopes the new series sparks conversation the way SVU did with sexual assault.
‘Twenty years ago when ‘SVU’ began, very few people felt comfortable coming forward and reporting these crimes,’ he explained. ‘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.’
Could it be a mistake?
It’s true that hate crimes are on the rise in the United States.
Last year, the FBI released information revealing an increase in hate crime. On college campuses, white supremacist attacks saw an increase of 250% from 2016 to 2017.
For LGBTI people specifically, 2017 was the deadliest year on record for the community. This statistic reflected homicides over the course of the year.
It might be this reality why some viewers are apprehensive.
“Law & Order: Hate Crimes” pic.twitter.com/K0jdoFl7d8
— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) September 4, 2018
I have watched an amazing amount of Law & Order and there is not a single thing I can imagine going more poorly than a hate crimes focused series.
— Jane Coaston (@cjane87) September 4, 2018
Black and Brown People: Hey, we'd like to see ourselves on television more…
— Michael Salgarolo (@mlsalgarolo) September 4, 2018
Why would I watch a fictitious show when I can turn on my damn tv every day and see it in reality!?! pic.twitter.com/8QKRKrn64B
— Call Me A Dreamer (@MisterC2u2) September 5, 2018
Others are more hopeful the series will be authentically reflective of New York.
Right off the bat @warrenleightTV recognised NY as being diverse and how it will reflect on his new show. He worked hard on telling the survivors story on SVU and I have no doubt he will bring that nuance to Law and Order Hate Crimes. I’m fully prepared to fangirl, I’m ready! pic.twitter.com/tdgH3ZVycO
— Kate Lindsay (@katemakesphoto) September 4, 2018
Others still are simply ride or die for Law & Order.
NBC has picked up "Law & Order: Hate Crimes." Make all the jokes you want, but I'm ready for this. Dick Wolf is slowly but surely taking over my TV life.
— Emily Longeretta (@emilylongeretta) September 4, 2018