Photo: Virginia Sherwood (NBC)

Last year, we reported that NBC was developing Law And Order: Hate Crimes, a new entry in the Law And Order franchise that would spin-off from a backdoor pilot in the current season of SVU for a whole new series of adventures about racism and homophobia and religious discrimination. It sounded like an awful idea at the time, mostly because SVU had already backed down from airing a ripped-from-the-headlines episode about a politician being accused of sexual assault that was supposed to premiere right before the election in 2016 (who could’ve possibly inspired such a storyline?!), so this seemed like it would be similarly risky for a franchise that is evidently terrified of offending some very worthless people.

Well, get ready for a huge shock, because NBC announced today that it is… hitting the brakes on Law And Order: Hate Crimes. According to Deadline, the network has announced that the project is still in “active development,” it just isn’t quite ready for this season. SVU hasn’t been renewed yet, but Deadline assumes that it will happen at some point and that the Hate Crimes backdoor pilot will be bumped into next season. If that really does happen, the gang from SVU will probably show up on Hate Crimes occasionally, as the real-life Hate Crimes Task Force in the NYPD operates under the the real-life Special Victims Unit and “often borrows SVU’s detectives to assist in their investigations.”

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Now, whether this happens or not, can we just point out that it seems pretty fucked up that we live in a world where people will watch a TV show about new hate crimes happening every week? Murders are one thing, but wouldn’t it be nice for the people on TV to at least get to enjoy a universe that isn’t as miserable as our own? These are fictional hate crimes, they can just stop them from happening by not writing them. Now that we think about it, maybe this is why NBC has decided the project needs some more time in development? That’s giving the network more credit than we’re comfortable with, though, so we’ll assume it’s not the case.