Reality TV Audiences Will, Terrifyingly, Be the Jury in New ‘Law & Order’ Docudrama

No matter how much law and how much order he’s already given, it seems Dick Wolf still has more Law & Order to give. With the show’s 25th anniversary just behind it, NBC has announced that Wolf is bringing yet another iteration to the network — this time in the form of a live, interactive reality TV show called Law and Order: You the Jury. 

Interestingly, the project was first purchased in May, but was just titled You the Jury — it has since been re-conceived as another show under the L&O blanket. But this news comes with one highly unsettling component: Deadline alleges that — as the title suggests — the audience will actually act as the jury, and have sway over the judiciary process. According to the website, the audience “will not only determine the verdict, but will also be able to vote throughout the trial on the veracity of witnesses and persuasiveness of evidence.”

Watching Law & Order and making a game of determining the perpetrator before your friends can is always a fun game, but it seems pretty nightmarish for this innocent, consequence-less game to be translated into the non-game of sealing the outcomes of actual criminal cases — and it’s puzzling that this could actually exist outside of, say, light traffic violation cases or small claims court cases. (And maybe it won’t — it’d be amusing to see how Wolf might spin true, gritty, twisted stories of… speeding tickets into one of his  labyrinthine legal dramas).