In May, Dick Wolf and his Law & Order machine decided to upend decades of Law & Order history by moving forward with Law & Order: For The Defense, a show about a criminal defense firm and that would build each episode on “the promise of a contemporary morality tale” (presumably based around whether or not the people that the firm defends really deserve to be defended or not). It was odd, if only because the people running Law & Order seemed like they were only partially committed to the actual premise of the show—you don’t spend decades working on various TV shows about how the cops are almost always right and how prosecutors are almost always right and how defense attorneys are only marginally better than criminals they represent without getting a very particular view of how the whole system works.
Anyway, that was all for nothing, because the show has been canned already. Law & Order: For The Defense was supposed to air on Thursdays on NBC this fall, but now it has been pulled in favor of The Blacklist (ending Dick Wolf’s dreams of controlling NBC’s entire Thursday lineup). This comes from Variety, which doesn’t offer an explanation for why Law & Order: For The Defense has been pulled, but it seems pretty obvious that there was something about this specific project that NBC and/or the Dick Wolf people weren’t thrilled with—like, maybe the fact that it was about defense attorneys. Variety says that NBC, Wolf, and Universal are working on another new Law & Order title that hopefully won’t be about criminals and suspected criminals having rights, but now For The Defense will head off to the pile of abandoned Law & Order spin-offs along side Law & Order: Hate Crimes, which still seems like one of the worst ideas anyone has ever had.