Dick Wolf is the spearhead of another expansion of his venerable Law and order franchise, and this time it has teamed up with one of the main auspices behind another hugely successful procedural drama franchise of the past two decades, CSICarol Menselsohn.
NBC gave a direct order to the series at Law & Order: For the Defense, a new legal drama of Law and order creator Wolf, who will take a peek inside a criminal defense firm. The series will put lawyers under the microscope, as well as the criminal justice system, with the promise of a contemporary moral tale each week.
“This new show is exciting for me personally,” said Wolf. “We have spent the last 30 years in offensive shows. 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 make television that has never been made before.
Mendelsohn will serve as the showrunner. She is an executive producer with Wolf, Arthur Forney, Julie Weitz and Peter Jankowski. The series will be produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, and Wolf Entertainment. It stems from Wolf and Mendelsohn’s agreements with the studio.
“We are eager to present to the public the latest chapter of Law and order, that will explore a different angle of the criminal justice system, ”said Lisa Katz, President, Script Programming, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “We are delighted with Dick Wolf’s perpetually stimulating approach as well as his collaboration with Carol Mendelsohn, with whom we have been looking forward to making a series for a long time.
This marks the second year in a row that NBC has picked up a new Law and order installment with a direct serial order. It follows Law and Order: SVU branching out Law and order: organized crime, starring Chris Meloni, which premiered on April 1 and as All Networks’ first series in 2.5 years (excluding NFL stars.)
the Law and order brand launched in 1990 with the Emmy-winning original Law and order, which lasted 20 seasons. Law and order: SVU, starring Emmy Award-winning Mariska Hargitay remains solid in her 22nd season, having broken the record for longest live-action series in television history.
In addition to the mothership Law and order series, Law and order: SVU, and Law and order: organized crime, the franchise has produced four other scripted series to date, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Jury Trial, Law & Order: LA and Law & Order: True Crime. Additionally, NBC sought to make another offshoot, Law and order: hate crimes, for several years.
In addition to Law and order brand, Wolf is executive producer of two other high-quality drama franchises, Chicago on NBC and FBI on CBS.
Mendelsohn, who perfected his craft with Stephen J. Cannell and Aaron Spelling, joined CSI in the pilot stage and led the Mothership Series in addition to co-leading the franchise expansion as the co-creator of CSI: Miami, CSI: New York and CSI: Cyber. She previously explored legal defense with the 2010 series The defenders, about a pair of defense attorneys played by Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell.
Wolf and Mendelsohn are taken over by WME.