Dick Wolf

Richard Anthony Wolf (born December 20, 1946) is an American television producer, best known as the creator and executive producer of the Law & Order franchise. Since 1990, the franchise has included six police/courtroom dramas and four international spinoffs. He is also creator and executive producer of the Chicago franchise, which since 2012 has included four Chicago-based dramas, and the creator and executive producer of FBI, which has also become a franchise after spinning off two additional series.

Dick Wolf
Wolf standing at a lectern
Wolf in 2010
Born
Richard Anthony Wolf

(1946-12-20) December 20, 1946 (age 74)
Other names
  • Richard A. Wolf
  • Richard Wolf
  • Richard D. Wolf
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania
OccupationTelevision writer, director, executive producer, creator
EmployerWolf Entertainment
Known forLaw & Order franchise
Chicago franchise
FBI franchise
Spouse(s)
Susan Scranton
(m. 1970; div. 1983)

Christine Marburg
(m. 1983; div. 2005)

Noelle Lippman
(m. 2006; div. 2019)
[1]
Children5

Wolf has also written four books. The first, the non-fiction volume Law & Order: Crime Scenes, is a companion to the Law & Order television series.[2] The Intercept, The Execution, and The Ultimatum, all of which are works of fiction, are volumes in a thriller series upon whose writings Wolf collaborates with N.Y.P.D. Detective Jeremy Fisk.[3]

Wolf has won numerous awards, including an Emmy Award, being inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame, and receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Early life, family and educationEdit

Wolf was born in New York City, the son of Marie G. (née Gaffney), a homemaker, and George Wolf, an advertising executive.[4] His father was Jewish, and his mother was Catholic of Irish descent.[5] He was an altar boy.[6]

Wolf attended Saint David's School, The Gunnery,[7][8] and Phillips Academy.[5] He subsequently attended the University of Pennsylvania (class of 1969), where he was a member of the Zeta Psi fraternity.[9]

CareerEdit

AdvertisingEdit

Wolf worked as an advertising copywriter at Benton & Bowles creating commercials for Crest toothpaste, including the slogan "You can't beat Crest for fighting cavities." He is also credited with the campaign "I'm Cheryl, fly me" for National Airlines. Yet despite his success in copywriting, all the while he was writing screenplays in the hopes of a film career. It was at this time that he briefly collaborated on a screenplay with Oliver Stone, who was a struggling screenwriter at the time.

Initial screenwriting successEdit

He moved to Los Angeles after a few years and had three screenplays produced; one of these films, Masquerade (1988), starring Rob Lowe and Meg Tilly, was well received.[citation needed] He started his television career as a staff writer on Hill Street Blues and was nominated for his first Emmy Award for the episode "What Are Friends For?", on which he was the only writer. While working on Hill Street Blues, Wolf became close friends with Tom Fontana, then writing for the series St. Elsewhere, produced in the same building, at the same time.[10] Wolf moved from Hill Street Blues to Miami Vice, where he was a writer and co-producer for the third and fourth seasons.[11]

Law & Order franchiseEdit

Wolf's original series Law & Order ran from 1990 to 2010. It tied Gunsmoke for the then-longest-running dramatic show in television history, making it one of television's most successful franchises. It has been nominated for the most consecutive Emmy Awards of any primetime drama series. Wolf serves as creator and executive producer of the current Law & Order drama series from Wolf Entertainment and NBC Universal Television – Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (which as of 21 June 2021 is the longest-running scripted primetime drama, having aired 494 episodes, breaking the original Law & Order count of 456, and beating both the original Law & Order and Gunsmoke in number of seasons). Wolf also was creator and executive producer for the four spinoff shows in the franchise that have been canceled – Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Trial by Jury, Law & Order: UK, and Law & Order: Los Angeles.[12] Along with Kevin Arkadie, he co-created the police drama New York Undercover, which ran on the Fox Broadcasting Company Network from 1994 to 1999. He also served as executive producer of the series. He was the creator and executive producer of NBC's courtroom reality series Crime & Punishment, which chronicled real-life cases prosecuted by the San Diego District Attorney's office. Many of Wolf's series have intersected with the Law & Order franchise in some fashion, and the Law & Order series have been adapted into several foreign versions. Wolf's company also produced Twin Towers, the 2003 Academy Award–winning Short Documentary about two brothers, one a policeman and the other a fireman, who lost their lives in the line of duty on September 11, 2001. Wolf was also involved with When You're Strange, the production of a theatrical documentary about the rock band The Doors.[13]

Organized CrimeEdit

On March 31, 2020, Wolf announced that the spin-off series has ordered for NBC to launch in the 2020–21 television, with Christopher Meloni reprising his role as Elliot Stabler, who left SVU nine years earlier. The series began with 13 episodes.[14] On June 2, 2020, it was announced that the series would be called Law & Order: Organized Crime and that its showrunner Craig Gore had been fired.[15]

Hate CrimesEdit

Wolf announced that NBC placed an order of 13 episodes for Law & Order: Hate Crimes, a new installment of the franchise.[16] However, March 4, 2019, NBC announced that the series would be heading back into redevelopment to flesh out the concept and such introduction on SVU would not take place.[17] On June 5, 2020, the series of Hate Crimes was moved to NBC's streaming service, Peacock, at least partly due to language concerns.[18]

For the DefenseEdit

On May 3, 2021, Wolf announced that NBC ordered yet another installment of the franchise, Law & Order: For the Defense, and that its showrunner would be Carol Mendelsohn.[19] However, it was later announced that the show would not move forward.

Chicago franchiseEdit

Wolf developed Chicago Fire, a drama about a group of men and women working at the Chicago Fire Department. The series was picked up by NBC in May 2012,[20] and premiered on October 10, 2012, with meek numbers in the ratings and minimal reviews in the first few weeks before spiking to NBC's #2 scripted drama series, under Revolution.[21] In March 2013, NBC announced intentions for a spin-off of Chicago Fire revolving around the Chicago Police Department.[22] When that series Chicago P.D. premiered, Derek Haas, Michael W. Brandt, and Matt Olmstead became executive producers, under Wolf.[23] Two subsequent shows, Chicago Med which premiered in 2015, and Chicago Justice whose one season began and ended in 2017, followed in Chicago P.D.'s wake.

FBI franchiseEdit

In 2018, Wolf became executive producer of the CBS drama FBI, starring Law and Order cast members Jeremy Sisto and Alana de la Garza and also Sela Ward.[24] FBI has since had two spinoffs (FBI: Most Wanted, and the upcoming FBI: International), giving Wolf his third franchise.

For the 2021-2022 fall TV season, all three of Wolf's franchises will have their own night of programming: FBI Tuesdays on CBS (main series, Most Wanted, International), Chicago Wednesdays on NBC (Med, Fire, PD), and Law & Order Thursdays on NBC (SVU and Organized Crime).[25]

Other workEdit

In 2012 Wolf developed the unscripted show Cold Justice, a documentary drama, for TNT.[26] He also has written three novels whose central character is NYPD Detective Jeremy Fisk: The Intercept, The Execution, and The Ultimatum.[27]

Future projectsEdit

Wolf's future projects for NBC are an American adaption of the United Kingdom psychological legal drama series Injustice[28] as well as a drama series revolving around a satanic cult, tentatively titled The Church. Wolf is writing the latter project with Howard Franklin.[29][30] Wolf also has an untitled pilot about an insurance investigator on USA Network.[31]

With Wolf pursuing projects other than Law & Order, he and current Law & Order: Special Victims Unit showrunner/executive producer Warren Leight sometimes discuss the future of the Law & Order franchise and revitalizing it; Leight commenting "(Dick Wolf and I) sometimes talk in general terms of where (the franchise) could go. I'm curious to see if there's another iteration somewhere down the line."[32]

In May 2021, NBC ordered a docuseries LA Fire and Rescue. The series will follow the firefighters of the Los Angeles County Fire Department and will be executive produced by Wolf.[33]

HonorsEdit

Wolf's personal honors include the Award of Excellence from the Banff Television Festival, the 2002 Creative Achievement Award from NATPE; the Anti-Defamation League's Distinguished Entertainment Industry Award, the Leadership and Inspiration Award from the Entertainment Industries Council, the Governor's Award by the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the 1997 achievement award from the Caucus for Producers, Writers, and Directors, the 1998 Television Showman of the Year Award from the Publicists Guild of America, the 2002 Tribute from the Museum of Television and Radio, and a 2003 Special Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. On March 29, 2007, Wolf received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7040 Hollywood Boulevard.[34] In 2013 Wolf was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. Wolf is also an Honorary Consul general of Monaco[35] and is actively involved in the principality's prestigious annual Television Festival, and as its primary liaison with the entertainment community.[citation needed]

Political involvementEdit

It was reported that Wolf contributed to Fred Thompson's campaign for the Republican nomination for President in 2008. The two had worked together since 2002, when Thompson joined the cast of the Law & Order playing a district attorney.[36]

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

TelevisionEdit

ScriptedEdit

Year Title Network Credited as
Creator Executive Writer
1985–1986 Hill Street Blues NBC No No Yes
1986–1988 Miami Vice No co-executive Yes
1989 Gideon Oliver ABC Yes Yes No
Christine Cromwell Yes Yes No
1990 Nasty Boys NBC Yes Yes No
H.E.L.P. ABC Yes Yes No
1990–2010 Law & Order NBC Yes Yes Yes
1992 Mann & Machine Yes Yes Yes
The Human Factor CBS No Yes No
1993 South Beach NBC Yes Yes Yes
1994–1998 New York Undercover Fox Yes Yes Yes
1995 The Wright Verdicts CBS Yes Yes No
1996 Swift Justice UPN Yes Yes No
1997 Feds CBS Yes Yes No
1997–1998 Players NBC Yes Yes No
1998 Exiled: A Law & Order Movie Yes Yes No
The Invisible Man N/A No Yes No
1999–present Law & Order: Special Victims Unit NBC Yes Yes Yes
2000 D.C. The WB No Yes No
2000–2001 Deadline NBC Yes Yes Yes
2000 Arrest & Trial Syndication Yes Yes No
2001–2011 Law & Order: Criminal Intent NBC/USA Network Yes Yes Yes
2003 Dragnet ABC Yes Yes No
2005–2006 Law & Order: Trial by Jury NBC Yes Yes Yes
2006 Conviction Yes Yes No
2009–2014 Law & Order: UK ITV Yes Yes No
2010–2011 Law & Order: LA NBC Yes Yes Yes
2012–present Chicago Fire No Yes Yes
2014–present Chicago P.D. Yes Yes Yes
2015–present Chicago Med Yes Yes Yes
2017 Chicago Justice Yes Yes Yes
Law & Order True Crime No Yes No
2018–present FBI CBS Yes Yes Yes
2020–present FBI: Most Wanted No Yes No
2021–present Law & Order: Organized Crime NBC Yes Yes Yes
FBI: International CBS No Yes No
TBA Law & Order: Hate Crimes Peacock Yes Yes Yes
On Call IMDb TV Yes Yes Yes

UnscriptedEdit

Year Title Network Credited as
Creator Executive
2013–present Cold Justice TNT/Oxygen Yes Yes
2015–2018 Nightwatch[38] A&E/NBCUniversal Yes Yes
2015 Cold Justice: Sex Crimes TNT Yes Yes
3AM Showtime Yes Yes
2017 Inside The FBI: New York[39] USA Network Yes Yes
2017–present Criminal Confessions[40] Oxygen Yes Yes
2019 Murder for Hire No Yes
First Responders Live Fox No Yes
TBA LA Fire and Rescue NBC No Yes

AnimatedEdit

ForeignEdit

ThanksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "'Law & Order' creator Dick Wolf splitting from third wife, Noelle, after 12 years of marriage - Fox News". foxnews.com. 2019-01-07. Retrieved 2020-08-28.
  2. ^ "LAW & ORDER: Crime Scenes". Publishers Weekly. 15 September 2003. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
  3. ^ DeSilva, Bruce (October 22, 2012). "The Intercept". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
  4. ^ "Dick Wolf". FilmReference.com. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Green, Susan (March 29, 2007). "Dialogue: Dick Wolf". The Hollywood Reporter.
  6. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (7 May 2002). "Church Woes Are Invading TV Pilots; Story Lines Mirror Public Disenchantment With Catholic Hierarchy". The New York Times.
  7. ^ "The Gunnery". ExploreWashingtonCT.com.
  8. ^ Adhikari, Dibya Raj. "Dick Wolf". Frostsnow.com.
  9. ^ Eshman, Rob (October 16, 1997). "A Wolf Among 'Sheep'". Jewish Journal. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
  10. ^ "Dick Wolf Interview". Archive of American Television. emmytvlegends.org. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation. 2013-04-21. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
  11. ^ Wolf, Dick (2008). "Miami Vice Interview". emmytvlegends.org. Archive of American Television. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  12. ^ Weiner, Allison Hope (May 23, 2005). "Case Closed". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
  13. ^ "The Doors ~ Interview with Executive Producer Dick Wolf". American Masters. WNET. 2010-05-10. Retrieved 2021-02-20 – via PBS.org.
  14. ^ "Christopher Meloni As 'SVU' Character Elliot Stabler To Headline New Dick Wolf Drama Series For NBC". Deadline Hollywood. March 31, 2020. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  15. ^ Throne, Will (June 2, 2020). "Dick Wolf Fires Writer From 'Law & Order' Spinoff for Threatening to 'Light Up' Looters". Variety.com. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  16. ^ "NBC orders new 'Law & Order' series that focuses on hate crimes". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2018-09-05 – via EW.com.
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 4, 2019). "'Law & Order: Hate Crimes' Series Pushed At NBC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  18. ^ "Law & Order: Hate Crimes Spinoff Likely Bound for Peacock Streaming Service Due to Language Concerns". TVLine.com. June 5, 2020. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  19. ^ "'Law & Order: For The Defense' Spinoff From Dick Wolf & Carol Mendelsohn Gets NBC Series Order". Deadline Hollywood. May 3, 2021. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  20. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 9, 2012). "NBC Renews 'Law & Order: SVU', Picks Up 'Chicago Fire', Inks New Deal With Dick Wolf". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  21. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (October 11, 2012). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'The X Factor', 'Survivor', 'The Neighbors' & 'Modern Family' Adjusted Up; No Adjustments for 'Arrow'". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
  22. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 27, 2013). "NBC Eyes 'Chicago Fire' Spinoff Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  23. ^ Slezak, Michael (March 27, 2013). "Chicago Fire Spreading? NBC Considering Police-Centric Spinoff Series". TV Line. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  24. ^ Cohn, Paulette (25 September 2018). "Law & Order Alum Jeremy Sisto on Joining Federal Law Enforcement in FBI". Parade.
  25. ^ "Dick Wolf breaks new ground..." Yahoo.com.
  26. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (May 16, 2012). "Upfronts 2012: TNT Developing Shows From Steven Bochco, Dick Wolf, Matthew McConaughey, More". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  27. ^ "Dick Wolf". Amazon.com.
  28. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 4, 2012). "Dick Wolf & David Hudgins To Adapt British Series 'Injustice' For NBC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  29. ^ Ng, Philiana (October 12, 2012). "Dick Wolf Developing Cult Drama 'Church' at NBC". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  30. ^ "Dick Wolf of 'Law & Order' will try a new genre with drama 'The Church'". New York Daily News. October 15, 2012. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  31. ^ Rose, Lacey (May 17, 2012). "Upfronts 2012: Bryan Fuller, Dick Wolf, Kelsey Grammer Projects Join USA's Scripted Development Slate". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  32. ^ Jodha, Michael (October 3, 2012). "There's no shortage of crimes for 'SVU,' says executive producer". CTV.ca. Archived from the original on October 15, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  33. ^ Petski, Denise (May 14, 2021). "NBC Greenlights Dick Wolf Docuseries 'LA Fire And Rescue'". Deadline Hollywood.
  34. ^ "Hollywood Walk of Fame Recent Ceremonies". Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on 2007-03-29. Retrieved 2007-04-04.
  35. ^ "Consulate of Monaco in Los Angeles, United States". embassypages.com. Retrieved 2017-01-25.
  36. ^ "Thompson's 'Candidacy' Draws Variety of Supporters". Memphis Daily News. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-05.
  37. ^ Pedersen, Erik (16 February 2017). "Jared Leto To Direct James Ellroy Thriller '77' For Paramount". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  38. ^ Nightwatch at IMDb (2015-2018). Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  39. ^ "'Inside the FBI: New York' Promo Reveals Premiere for Dick Wolf Docuseries".
  40. ^ Petski, Denise (22 August 2017). "'Criminal Confessions': Dick Wolf's Oxygen Media Reality Series Gets Premiere Date, Trailer".

External linksEdit