Gavel comes down on ‘Law & Order: For the Defense’ but another franchise show is already in the works

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After ordering it straight to series, NBC’sLaw & Order: For the Defense” won’t get to hold court in front of viewers, with the network officially taking it off the fall 2021 schedule.

NBC announced it had committed to the series in May 2021 and planned to air it Thursday nights, creating an “all Law & Order” night similar to its “One Chicago” Wednesday.

“For the Defense” would have aired along with “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (itself a spinoff of the now canceled “Law & Order”) and “Law & Order: Organized Crime.”

It was slated to take place inside of a law firm that exists inside the rest of the “Law & Order” universe (which is also shared with “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med” and “Chicago PD,” despite being set in different cities) giving viewers a view from the defense’s side of things, where other “L&O” shows focus more on investigations, law enforcement and the prosecution.

With “For the Defense” not moving forward, NBC will move “The Blacklist” to fill the now open hour of primetime on Thursdays.

Meanwhile, sources tell Deadline that Dick Wolf, the prolific producer and creator of the “Law & Order” and “Chicago” franchises, is already moving forward with developing a new series under the “Law & Order” name — but may not be a legal drama.

NBC had previously committed to “Law & Order: Hate Crimes” but that show remains in development hell. There had been word that it might surface on Peacock, with some citing the more graphic subject matter as being a better fit for a streamer than network TV, but nothing has been finalized.