Dick Wolf Reveals How He Has Survived at NBC for Decades — and How His New Drama Fits In at the Network

Sep 10, 2012  •  Post A Comment

Dick Wolf, the creator of NBC’s wildly successful “Law & Order” franchise, tells the Los Angeles Times that his new drama for the network, "Chicago Fire," marks a return to "retro TV."

"Nobody knows what’s going to work in television anymore, but this is classic NBC drama — a large ensemble in a major drama in the tradition of ‘ER’ or ‘LA Law,’" Wolf said. "The game plan is getting the most people into the tent."

Wolf said the show won’t be similar to other firehouse-based shows, such as "Rescue Me" or "Emergency," according to the story.

"We’re not doing the fire of the week. Those shows all look alike. The non-fire sequences will have the same adrenaline as the fire scenes," Wolf said.

Wolf has had at least one series on NBC for the past 22 years, and said his success is attributable partly to practical considerations.

"I’ve survived six owners and 10 administrations," Wolf said. "At some point, it’s a bit of the devil you know. I’m not really a high risk. I’ve never missed an air date or gone over budget. It’s a business relationship and that’s why I’ve survived."

NBC is betting heavily on Wolf and "Chicago Fire" as one of the keys to what the network hopes will be a ratings turnaround. Said Jennifer Salke, president of Entertainment: "We are true fans of what Dick has done in the procedural realm, and it was really exciting to embrace this character-driven procedural. It’s an original setting for this kind of show that can really showcase this character development."

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