Network televiison, it seems, will soon be plugged up with franchise spin-offs.
NBC has just ordered “Law & Order: For the Defense.” That comes after the debut of “Law & Order: Organized Crime” (shown here) on NBC … and after CBS ordered spin-offs of “FBI,” “CSI” and “NCIS.”
The play-it-safe approach reflects a new reality, when networks simply can’t get their shows sampled. CBS has tried some non-franchise dramas, with “Tommy” and “Clarice” stumbling in the ratings and “All Rise” remaining on the fence. So spin-offs – most of them not yet cast – are set for next season:
– “Law & Order: For the Defense” is the franchise’s first time on the defense’s side. Carol Mendelsohn, formerly a “CSI” producer, will be in charge. That joins “Organized Crime,” which debuted April 1, and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” which is in its 22nd season, with two more ordered.
– CBS has canceled one “NCIS” series (New Orleans), but is starting another. “NCIS: Hawaii” is set for next year, with a female bureau chief, not yet cast. It will join the 13th season of “NCIS: Los Angeles” and the 19thof the original “NCIS.”
–There will also be three FBI shows on CBS, with “FBI: International” joining “FBI” and “FBI: Most Wanted.” Those are produced by Dick Wolf – who also has the “Chicago” and “Law & Order” shows.
– And the “CSI” franchise will be revived on CBS. It will have the same city (Las Vegas) as the original show, with some of the original stars popping in, including William Petersen, Jorja Fox and David Hodges. However, it will now be called “CSI: Vegas”; it will include Matt Lauria, Paula Newxome, Mel Rodriguez and Mandeep Dhillon.