‘Law & Order’ Series Set in Criminal Defense Firm Ordered at NBC

The “Law & Order” franchise is expanding again at NBC, with the network giving out a straight-to-series order for “Law & Order: For the Defense,” Variety has learned.

“For the Defense” will take a look inside a criminal defense firm. The series will put the lawyers under the microscope, along with the criminal justice system with every week delivering the promise of a contemporary morality tale.

Like all things “Law & Order,” the series hails from Dick Wolf, with “CSI” veteran Carol Mendelsohn set to serve as showrunner and executive producer. Wolf also executive produces along with Arthur Forney and Peter Jankowski of Wolf Entertainment and Julie Weitz of Carol Mendelsohn Productions. Universal Television, where Wolf is under a massive overall deal, will serve as the studio along with Wolf Entertainment.

“This new show is exciting for me personally,” Wolf said. “We spent the last 30 years on shows that played offense. Now it will be great to play defense, and being able to do it with Carol is an honor and an opportunity for both of us to do television that hasn’t been done before.”

Mendelsohn is best known for her time at the helm of “CSI” at CBS, during which time the show became a global hit. She is also the co-creator of the spinoffs “CSI: Miami,” “CSI: New York,” and “CSI: Cyber.” She is an executive producer on the limited series revival, “CSI: Vegas,” currently in the works at CBS.

She is repped by WME, The Framework Collective, and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.

“We can’t wait to bring audiences the latest chapter of ‘Law & Order,’ which will explore a different angle of the criminal justice system,” said Lisa Katz, president of scripted programming for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “We’re excited about Dick Wolf’s perpetually thought-provoking approach as well his collaboration with Carol Mendelsohn, who we have been eager to do a series with for a long time.”

“Law & Order” has been a cornerstone of NBC since the original series debuted in 1990. There are currently two shows in the franchise airing on NBC — “Law & Order: SVU,” which was renewed for three seasons when Wolf’s overall deal was announced last year, and “Law & Order: Organized Crime,” which marked Christopher Meloni’s return to the franchise and is seen as a lock for a renewal. Including the three previously mentioned shows, there have been seven “Law & Order” shows to date, with “For the Defense” being the eighth. Another series, “Law & Order: Hate Crimes,” remains in development after originally being ordered to series in 2018.

Wolf also currently executive produces the three “Chicago” shows at NBC as well as the two “FBI” shows at CBS. A third “FBI” show, “FBI: International,” was ordered to series in March.

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