Disappointing news for Law and Order: SVU fans revealed ahead of new season

This show has been cancelled

Bad news, Law and Order fans - it's been announced that new spin-off series Law & Order: For the Defense, which was due to launch this fall, will not be going ahead after all.

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According to Deadline, NBC has decided to abandon the project. It's not known why the show has been scrapped and many fans will no doubt be disappointed as they were all hoping to see former Law and Order: Special Victims Unit star Raúl Esparza, who played Assistant District Attorney Rafael Barba, return to lead the cast.

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News of the proposed spin-off first came in May. According to the official statement from the network at the time, the series was planning to "put the lawyers under the microscope, along with the criminal justice system with every week delivering the promise of a contemporary morality tale".

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The legal drama was supposed to be part of an all-Law & Order Thursday line-up alongside Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Organized Crime. It has now been replaced on NBC's fall schedule by The Blacklist, which has relocated from Fridays to Thursdays.

Fans were hoping to see Raúl Esparza return to lead the new legal drama

However, there is some good news. It's been reported that NBC and creator Dick Wolf are already in talks about creating another new spin-off for the franchise. Details remain under wraps for now, but it's believed that the offshoot is not a legal drama but something else entirely.

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Meanwhile, viewers can rest easy knowing that they don't have too long to wait until Law and Order is back on screens. SVU will return for season 23 with a two-hour premiere at 8pm on Thursday 23 September, followed by Organized Crime's season two kick-off at 10pm.

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