Back in May, we reported that NBC was developing a new show within the Law & Order brand subtitled You The Jury. The twist, appropriately, was that instead of a bunch of nameless extras pulled off the street serving as the jury on a court case, it would be you—or, rather, whoever happened to be watching Law & Order: You The Jury at that time, so not necessarily you. However, unlike that old Batman comic where readers got to vote on if Robin would live or die, the decisions here wouldn’t be based on fictional situations. No, the court cases on You The Jury would be actual live civil trials, with the audience voting on the verdict at home. From there it’s a slippery slope to letting the audience vote on the outcome of murder trials, and then we’ll all be living in god-damned sci-fi dystopia.
Thankfully, a show being in development at NBC doesn’t necessarily mean that the show will ever happen, so there’s still a chance that our legal system could be saved from the insatiable maw of reality television—or at least there was, because NBC just gave Law & Order: You The Jury a series order. That’s according to The Hollywood Reporter, which further explains the premise by saying that the audience will be “prompted to engage in the proceedings throughout the hour, chiming in on veracity of witnesses and persuasiveness of evidence.” That makes it sound like NBC wants the audience to do what it already does during Judge Judy, only now the stuff they’re yelling at the TV will be tabulated and used to determine whether or not a man gets sent to prison for the rest of his life (again, these are all civil trials, but we wanted to make it sound more dramatic).
We don’t know when Trial By Jury will hit NBC, but if you want to be on the show you could just start stealing small items from your neighbors right now. Or maybe smash their car with a bat? Or get into a particularly contentious divorce? Actually, we’re probably not allowed to suggest that you do anything like that, so (wink) don’t start stealing small items from your neighbors (wink). Got it? (wink.)