So the last time we checked in on Dick Wolf, we were discussing how he was slowly taking over every hour of primetime broadcast television, with his Thursday night "Law & Order" franchise line-up (SVU, Organized Crime, and recent addition For The Defense) serving as the centerpiece of his plans towards total television domination. Well, those plans changed in a big way on Thursday with word that Law & Order: For the Defense has been scrapped by NBC. The James Spader-starring The Blacklist will move from Fridays to Thursdays to cover the 8 pm timeslot.
Wolf and Carol Mendelsohn's spinoff received a straight-to-series order in early May, with the criminal defense firm-focused series having progressed to the casting stage (including reports that "name actors" had received offers within the past few months. NBC, Wolf, and Universal Television are reportedly already developing a new series set within the franchise's universe (though this one isn't expected to focus on the legal side).
In fact, planning appeared to be so far along that Organized Crime star Christopher Meloni explained in May that he heard a "rumor" that the newly-announced spinoff "might be a perfect offshoot for my friend here [Wheatley] to weasel out of the charges from 'Organized Crime.'" Meloni continued, "That's just a rumor, so I can't confirm or deny. But I actually just was discussing with the showrunner, Ilene Chaiken, getting together over shrimp and whiskey and figuring out where we go from here. We're just so thoroughly focused and entrenched in getting these first eight done and hammering out 108, which will be the last of this particular series. It's just, all hands are on deck right now."
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