‘Law & Order: For the Defense’: Everything to Know About the New Spin-Off Series

by Anna Dunn

Decades after its start, the Law & Order franchise is still going strong. With Law & Order: SVU going into its 22nd season and Law & Order: Organized Crime flawlessly bringing back old fan-favorite character Elliot Stabler, creator Dick Wolf and the rest of the production teams for the series are really on a roll. But the action doesn’t stop there. Meet Law & Order’s newest upcoming series, Law & Order: For the Defense

Law & Order: For the Defense plans to completely subvert the police procedural as we know it by looking at a side of the justice system that’s lacking on modern TV: the side of the defense. In For the Defense, we’ll get to see a team of defense lawyers work to prove the innocence of their clients, some falsely accused.

NBC has given the series a straight-to-series order, meaning no pilot is necessary. The series is intended to take a critical look at the criminal justice system.

Dick Wolf will head the project alongside producer Carol Mendelsohn. Mendelsohn is behind another incredibly successful procedural franchise, CSI.

Dick Wolf Excited for ‘Law & Order: For The Defense

“This new show is exciting for me personally,” Dick Wolf said in a statement. “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 will be the showrunner for Law & Order: For The Defense while Dick Wolf will be an executive producer. With Law & Order: Organized Crime being picked up for another season, this marks the second year in a row that NBC has picked up a show from the franchise.

Maybe part of the reason we’re getting so many fan favorite franchises airing three back to back episodes in the upcoming season is that broadcast is trying to keep up with streaming.

“Research shows that three hours of primetime should really be seen as a three-hour binge, which is what viewers want,” Dick Wolf told Variety.

When Will ‘For the Defense’ Air?

Law & Order: For The Defense will likely air in the fall. The show is set to air on Thursdays alongside SVU and Organized Crime. The exact date, however, is unknown. However, based on the typical broadcast schedule, For the Defense will likely air this fall.

As far as who has been cast, NBC hasn’t released any information. On top of being released on NBC, it’ll also be available to stream on NBC’s streaming service, Peacock.

Finally, If you’re worried about yet another show without any of your favorite characters, the potential for a crossover is definitely there. SVU and Organized Crime found great success with their crossovers, and producers are looking to do more. With the concept of For the Defense, there are ripe opportunities for a crossover event.

For now, fans will have to wait a bit before seeing Elliot Stabler, Olivia Benson, and a whole new cast.