Law and Order: Hate Crimes delayed, but still happening, at NBC

Law and Order: Hate Crimes won’t be premiering soon on NBC, but the network is still confident the Law and Order spinoff will happen.

The latest Law and Order series will sit in limbo a little longer.

Law and Order: Hate Crimes, which was supposed to have its backdoor pilot during this season of Law and Order: SVU and had it pushed back, then was picked up to series anyway and has been a question mark ever since, is still going forward at NBC according to the network.

They just don’t know when fans will see it, as NBC Entertainment co-chairman Paul Telegdy said during the network’s upfronts that “it will happen one day.”

According to Telegdy, the series remains in “active development,” even as the people behind it are now getting busier and busier.

Dick Wolf now has the FBI franchise flourishing on CBS with spinoff FBI: Most Wanted premiering this fall. The record 21st season of SVU also begins in the fall, and his latest reality TV show First Responders Live is just around the corner.

Warren Leight, who co-created Hate Crimes with Wolf, was named the new showrunner of SVU last month, replacing Michael Chernuchin. So now, the people who were building Hate Crimes have their plates full with other projects.

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And launching a new Law and Order show may not be as huge a priority when SVU is about to get even further into the history books and there’s a whole other franchise waiting to become a hit with the FBI shows. Special Victims Unit is one of the most important shows in Dick Wolf’s portfolio, while FBI has taken off for CBS and a spinoff was coming before the first season even ended.

The question is, how important is re-expanding that franchise to Wolf and company? NBC may be confident it’ll happen, but “one day” could be years from now, depending on how busy Leight and Wolf end up being. They hadn’t even started casting for Hate Crimes yet, so it’s a lot further away than something like FBI: Most Wanted, which had filled out all of its main roles within weeks and aired only a few months after it was announced.

And they’re not afraid to walk away from an idea if it doesn’t quite work out—see Law & Order: True Crime, which aired one season and then quietly disappeared. It was never cancelled, but it’s not doing anything either.

It’d be fascinating to see Hate Crimes in such a polarized world right now, and to see what Leight can come up with; he’s got an excellent track record with his years of helping to make SVU the hit show that it is today. But this idea’s been through so many ups and downs already, that it isn’t a certainty just because it has the Law & Order brand attached. We’ll have to keep waiting and see if that series order is eventually fulfilled, and if so, who ends up being in it.

Next: This month's Law & Order: SVU schedule

For the latest SVU season 21 spoilers and news, plus more on all of Dick Wolf’s other series, follow the Dick Wolf category at One Chicago Center.

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