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NBC orders new series Law & Order: Hate Crimes

NBC has just announced what sounds like the most depressing Law & Order series yet: Law & Order: Hate Crimes.

Deadline reports that the network has ordered 13 episodes of this new show, which will be based on New York's actual Hate Crimes Task Force. The characters from Hate Crimes will first be introduced during an upcoming episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, making this a spinoff of a spinoff.

Hate Crimes is co-created by Warren Leight, the former showrunner of SVU. He'll work alongside Dick Wolf, the creator of the entire Law & Order franchise. Per Deadline, Wolf said that he wants to "depict what’s really going on in our cities and shine a light on the wide-ranging victims and show that justice can prevail."

This will be the seventh show to take place in the Law & Order universe, which has seen varied levels of success over the years. Although Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent were all huge hits, Law & Order: Trial by Jury and Law & Order: LA were both canceled after one season. The most recent incarnation was Law & Order True Crime, which NBC hasn't yet given a second season.

No premiere date for Hate Crimes has yet been announced, but one thing that might help boost the series' ratings is the possibility of SVU cast members making sporadic appearances. As Deadline notes, in real life the Hate Crimes Task Force operates under New York's Special Victims Unit, making the potential for a Lieutenant Benson appearance deliciously alluring. Read more about the show at Deadline.