The Law & Order franchise is expanding, this time with a Hate Crimes unit. The series will be, of course, created by Dick Wolf and Warren Leight. This latest installment is set to be based on New York City’s actual Hate Crimes Task Force, the second oldest bias-based task force in the U.S. The unit, in fact, works under the NYPD’s real Special Victims Unit and often borrows SVU’s detectives to assist in their investigations. Which provides an opportunity for crossovers between SVU and Hate Crimes.
The new series, which is scheduled for 13 episodes so far, will be introduced as a spinoff of SVU. NBC’s official description of the show: “Law & Order: Hate Crimes is set in New York City, where crimes motivated by discrimination are vigorously investigated by an elite, specially trained team of investigators. Going behind the headlines and viral videos, these diverse, dedicated and passionate detectives will stop at nothing to bring these criminals to justice.”
The new unit will be introduced during the later episodes of SVU’s upcoming season 20. Having a Hate Crimes unit join the franchise is a step in the direction to hopefully provide knowledge and understanding to viewers. Much like SVU has provided over the years. Wolf said in a statement, “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. 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.”
Law & Order: Hate Crimes will be the seventh series in the franchise. It is estimated that it will likely premiere as a stand-alone series sometime in 2019.