Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

After 30 years, Law & Order has decided to give defense attorneys a show

A courtroom
A courtroom
Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Not counting crap like Live PD, the Law & Order franchise is almost certainly more guilty than any other media brand of promoting copaganda—since it’s been telling stories about hero cops who always get the bad guys and hero prosecutors who always find the right way to lock them up for 30 years—but now Dick Wolf and his venerable TV institution have landed on a revolutionary new concept: What if the bad guys didn’t actually do it? What if sometimes people end up in the criminal justice system unjustly? What if there was someone whose whole job was to defend people in court?

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That’s kind of a key aspect of how this country is supposed to work, and now—finally—it’s becoming a key aspect of the Law & Order franchise. According to Variety, NBC has given a straight-to-series order to Law & Order: For The Defense, a new spin-off series about a criminal defense firm that “will put lawyers under the microscope” and “[deliver] the promise of a contemporary morality tale” every week. That seems to imply that there will be a lot of episodes where a person is guilty and the attorneys have to defend them anyway, which… fine, but at least there’s some meat on this bone.

The series will be showrun by Carol Mendelsohn, who worked on CSI when CSI was a big deal, and Wolf said in a statement that he and Mendelsohn are excited to “do television that hasn’t been done before.” A lot of lawyer shows are about defense attorneys, but… again, fine. We don’t want to get into a fight with Dick Wolf. He seems like he could take us pretty easily.