Universal Television Expands the “L&O” Universe with 13-Episode Commitment to Series Inspired By Actual New York City Task Force
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – Sept. 4, 2018 – One of television’s most successful franchises is tackling a very relevant and topical subject matter as iconic Emmy Award-winning producer Dick Wolf brings “Law & Order: Hate Crimes” to audiences beginning with a 13-episode order from NBC.
Co-created with former “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” showrunner Warren Leight, the latest installment of the enduring and wildly popular “Law & Order” franchise 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 20thseason of “SVU.”
“As ‘Law & Order: SVU’ enters its remarkable 20thseason, it is exciting to get back into business with Dick Wolf on a new ‘Law & Order’ incarnation that feels extremely timely,” said Lisa Katz, Co-President of Scripted Programming, NBC Entertainment. “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.”
Added Tracey Pakosta, Co-President of Scripted Programming, NBC Entertainment: “We’re confident that Dick and Warren will examine these cases in all their complexity and deliver another riveting series for our country, currently grappling with an escalation of these crimes and the motivations behind them.”
“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.
“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,” Wolf said. “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.”
“I’m extremely impressed by the actual men and women investigating these cases in a city as complicated and diverse as New York,” Leight said. “The work they are doing puts them on the front lines in a battle for the soul of our city and nation. I’m thrilled about the chance to reunite with Dick and NBC to portray the reality of this crisis.”
Wolf, the two-time Emmy-winning (and 13-time Emmy nominated) and Grammy Award-winning producer, as well as New York Times best-selling author, is one of television's most respected drama series creators/producers and the architect of two of the most successful brands in the history of television – "Law & Order" and the current “Chicago” franchise. He serves as creator and executive producer of all of the "Law & Order"-branded series from Wolf Entertainment and Universal Television, including "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," entering its 20th season and now tied as the longest-longest running scripted filmed series in the history of television (with “Gunsmoke” and “Law & Order”). Wolf has extended his branding expertise to the Windy City, with his Chicago-based NBC series: "Chicago Fire” (season seven), "Chicago P.D." (season six) and “Chicago Med” (season four). In addition, Wolf’s high profile scripted limited series “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders,” starring Edie Falco, premiered in 2017.
Warren Leight was showrunner and executive producer of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” from 2011-16 (winning Imagen, NAACP and PRISM Awards). Previously he was showrunner and executive producer of HBO's Peabody Award-winning “In Treatment,” the FX drama “Lights Out” and the Edgar Award-winning “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” Leight's play “Side Man” won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Play and was a 1999 Pulitzer Prize finalist.
“Law & Order: Hate Crimes” is a Wolf Entertainment production in association with Universal Television. Dick Wolf and Warren Leight are creators and executive producers. Peter Jankowski and Arthur Forney will also serve as executive producers. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is a Wolf Films production in association with Universal Television. Dick Wolf is creator and executive producer. Michael Chernuchin, Julie Martin, Mariska Hargitay, Alex Chapple, Arthur Forney and Peter Jankowski are executive producers.
Rebecca Marks, Rebecca.Marks@nbcuni.com, 818-777-3030
Stuart Levine, Stuart.Levine@nbcuni.com, 818-777-9828
Curt King, Curt.King@nbcuni.com, 818-777-3655
Pam Golum, PGolum@lippingroup.com, 323-965-1990