‘Law & Order’ Expands to Canada With Toronto Edition of ‘Criminal Intent’

The “Law & Order” universe is heading up north. Citytv has ordered the series “Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent,” Rogers Media announced on Monday. The pickup was revealed a day before Rogers Media’s virtual upfront presentation on June 6.

The Toronto iteration hails from Vancouver-based Lark Productions and Cameron Pictures Inc. in association with Citytv. The first season is planned as ten hour-long episodes, set to premiere in Spring 2024. The show is based on the “Law & Order” franchise created by Dick Wolf for Universal Television, which will distribute the series internationally.

But in this case, “Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent” also takes its cue from “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” the third series in Wolf’s “L&O” franchise. The original “Criminal Intent,” created and produced by Wolf and René Balcer, ran for 10 seasons between 2001 and 2011 (first on NBC, and later on USA), and starred Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe.

According to the release, “Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent” follows an elite squad of detectives who investigate high-profile crime and corruption in metro Toronto. No casting has been announced, however Citytv notes the series “will showcase original Canadian stories written and produced by, and starring, Canadians.”     

Other international adaptations of the “Law & Order” universe include France’s “Paris enquêtes criminelles (Paris Criminal Investigations),” which was also a version of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” Russian TV aired both “Law & Order: Division of Field Investigations” (based on “Law & Order: SVU”) and its own version of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” And in the UK, there was the series “Law & Order: UK.”

In Fall 2022, Citytv simulcast all three current NBC “Law & Order” series, as well as the trio of “Chicago” series set in the same Wolfiverse. Although those shows have conducted crossovers in recent years, it’s unclear how or if the Toronto iteration will fit into that world.

Lark Productions is behind Canadian series like “Family Law” and “Motive,” as well as several Canadian formats of popular reality series like “Farmer Wants a Wife” (called “Farming For Love” in Canada), “The Real Housewives of Toronto” and “The Real Housewives of Vancouver.”

The independent Cameron Pictures is co-run by sisters Amy and Tassie Cameron, and is known for series like “Mary Kills People,” “Pretty Hard Cases” and “Rookie Blue.”

“The timeless appeal of the cases explored in the globally successful ‘Law & Order’ franchise continue to draw in Citytv audiences week after week,” said Hayden Mindell, Senior Vice President, Television, Rogers Sports & Media, in the release. “We’re thrilled to be in partnership with Lark Productions and Cameron Pictures Inc., to bring Canadian stories to this iconic format.”

“Our team is excited for the unique opportunity to produce a distinctly Canadian version of ‘Criminal Intent’ in partnership with Cameron Pictures,” said Erin Haskett, President and Executive Producer, Lark Productions. “We have been collaborating with Rogers Sports & Media since early last year and are thrilled to share the original vision of the adaptation with audiences.”

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