|Put aside all of those jokes about "Law & Order: Elevator Inspectors Unit" and "Law & Order: Parking Violation Squad." The latest spin-off from Dick Wolf's "Law & Order" mothership will be "Law & Order: Trial by Jury."|
Speaking to advertisers at an NBC program development panel on Thursday (March 25), the network's President of Creative Development Kevin Reilly calls the latest permutation of the "L&O" brand the "most unique yet."
While the premise for "Trial by Jury" sounds different from anything within the "Law & Order" family, it sounds vaguely similar to Wolf's unscripted summer series "Crime & Punishment." While that show offered a reality take on the trial work of prosecuting attorneys, the new entry in the family will give an omniscient overview of the entire trial process.
The show's format is set up to allow for the possibility of cameos from other actors and characters from within the "Law & Order" universe. Every week will feature the kind of ripped-from-the-headlines stories that that franchise has become know for, beginning with a criminal arraignment and continuing through the trial. The show will provide fictional access to prosecutors, defenders, judicial chambers, the jury room and every other nook and cranny of the process.
It's possible there will be some toe-stepping between "Trial by Jury" and FOX's upcoming drama "The Jury," from Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson. That show doesn't have a place in FOX's schedule yet, but it will look at the jury system from within the pool of 12 citizens doing their civic duty. "The Jury," which stars Shalom Harlow and Billy Burke among others, is likely to premiere before NBC's show can go into production.
Reilly says that while it's possible that "Trial By Jury" could be ready for a fall premiere, the show could also find a home in the post-January midseason period.
As always, Wolf will executive produce the series. Walon Green ("Dragnet," "Law & Order") is attached to write the pilot.