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 the creator and executive producer of the Chicago franchise, which, since 2012, has included four Chicago-based dramas: police, courtroom, fire, and medical. Wolf has won numerous awards, including an Emmy Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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

(1946-12-20) December 20, 1946 (age 73)
Other names
  • Richard A. Wolf
  • Richard Wolf
  • Richard D. Wolf
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania
OccupationTelevision writer, director, executive producer, creator
Known forLaw & Order franchise
Chicago franchise
Susan Scranton
(m. 1970; div. 1983)

Christine Marburg
(m. 1983; div. 2005)

Noelle Lippman
(m. 2006; div. 2019)

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]

Early lifeEdit

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[5] of Irish descent.

He was an altar boy[6] and attended Saint David's School, The Gunnery,[7][8] and the University of Pennsylvania (class of 1969), where he belonged to the Zeta Psi fraternity.[9] He also attended Phillips Academy.[10]



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. He started his television career as a staff writer on Hill Street Blues and was nominated for his first Emmy for an episode entitled "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.[11] Wolf moved from Hill Street Blues to Miami Vice, where he was a writer and co-producer for the third and fourth seasons.[12]

Law & OrderEdit

Wolf's Law & Order, which ran from 1990 to 2010, 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 Films and NBC Universal Television – Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (which as of April 2020 is the longest-running scripted primetime drama, having aired 478 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.[13] Along with Kevin Arkadie, he co-created the police drama New York Undercover, which ran on the Fox Broadcasting Company Network from 1994 to 1998; 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 the production of a theatrical documentary about the popular rock group The Doors, titled When You're Strange.[citation needed]

Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Chicago Med, and Chicago JusticeEdit

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,[14] 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.[15] In March 2013, NBC announced intentions for a spin-off of Chicago Fire, revolving around the Chicago Police Department.[16] When that series, Chicago P.D., premiered, Derek Haas, Michael W. Brandt, and Matt Olmstead became executive producers, under Wolf.[17] 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.


In 2018, Wolf became executive producer of the CBS drama FBI starring Law and Order cast members Jeremy Sisto and Alana de la Garza who also appeared with her co-star, and Sela Ward, who appeared in the non-Wolf CBS series CSI: NY.[18]

Law & Order: 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 will consist of 13 episodes.[19] On June 2, 2020, it was announced that the series would be called Law & Order: Organized Crime and showrunner Craig Gore has been fired.[20]

Law & Order: Hate CrimesEdit

Wolf announced that it had given an order of 13 episodes of the latest installment of the franchise entitled Law & Order: Hate Crimes.[21] 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.[22] On June 5, 2020, the series of Hate Crimes has moved to Peacock due to the language concern.[23]

Other workEdit

In 2012 Wolf developed the unscripted show Cold Justice, a documentary drama, for TNT.[24] He also has written three novels whose central character is NYPD Detective Jeremy Fisk: The Intercept, The Execution, and The Ultimatum.[25]


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.[26] In 2013 Wolf was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. Wolf is also an Honorary Consul general of Monaco[27] 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

In addition to having been a classmate of former U.S. President George W. Bush, Wolf was an employer of Fred Thompson, who sought the Republican nomination for President in 2008 with help of the national attention he gained playing the district attorney on Law & Order. Wolf supported Thompson in his bid, as did Bush. It was reported that Wolf contributed to Thompson's campaign before he officially announced he was running.[28]

Future projectsEdit

Wolf's future projects for NBC are an American adaption of the United Kingdom psychological legal drama series Injustice[29] as well as a drama series revolving around a satanic cult, tentatively titled The Church. Wolf is writing the latter project with Howard Franklin.[30][31] Wolf also has an untitled pilot about an insurance investigator on USA Network.[32]

With Wolf pursuing projects other than Law & Order, he and current Law & Order: Special Victims Unit show runner/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."[33]





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 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 Yes 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 Law & Order: Organized Crime NBC Yes Yes Yes
TBA Law & Order: Hate Crimes Peacock Yes Yes Yes


Year Title Network Credited as
Creator Executive
2013–present Cold Justice TNT Yes Yes
2015–2018 Nightwatch[35] A&E Network/NBC Universal Yes Yes
2015 Cold Justice: Sex Crimes TNT Yes Yes
2015 3AM Showtime Yes Yes
2017 Inside The FBI: New York[36] USA Network Yes Yes
2017–present Criminal Confessions[37] Oxygen Yes Yes
2019–present Murder for Hire No Yes
2019–present First Responders Live Fox No Yes





  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 profile, FilmReference.com; accessed February 1, 2014.
  5. ^ Green, Susan (March 29, 2007). "Dialogue: Dick Wolf". The Hollywood Reporter. Your lineage is both Catholic and Jewish
  6. ^ Stanley, Alessandra. "Church Woes Are Invading TV Pilots; Story Lines Mirror Public Disenchantment With Catholic Hierarchy".
  7. ^ "The Gunnery - Explore Washington CT".
  8. ^ Adhikari, Dibya Raj. "Dick Wolf". Frostsnow.
  9. ^ Eshman, Rob (October 16, 1997). "A Wolf Among 'Sheep'". Jewish Journal. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
  10. ^ "Dialogue: Dick Wolf".
  11. ^ "Dick Wolf Interview". Archive of American Television. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation. 2013-04-21. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
  12. ^ Dick Wolf, Interview, Archive of American Television, 2008, Accessed March 16, 2017
  13. ^ Weiner, Allison Hope (May 23, 2005). "Case Closed". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 27, 2013). "NBC Eyes 'Chicago Fire' Spinoff Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  17. ^ Slezak, Michael (March 27, 2013). "Chicago Fire Spreading? NBC Considering Police-Centric Spinoff Series". TV Line. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  18. ^ Cohn, Paulette (25 September 2018). "Law & Order Alum Jeremy Sisto on Joining Federal Law Enforcement in FBI". Parade.
  19. ^ "Christopher Meloni As 'SVU' Character Elliot Stabler To Headline New Dick Wolf Drama Series For NBC". March 31, 2020. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  20. ^ Throne, Will (June 2, 2020). "Dick Wolf Fires Writer From 'Law & Order' Spinoff for Threatening to 'Light Up' Looters". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  21. ^ "NBC orders new 'Law & Order' series that focuses on hate crimes". EW.com. Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  22. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 4, 2019). "'Law & Order: Hate Crimes' Series Pushed At NBC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  23. ^ "Law & Order: Hate Crimes Spinoff Likely Bound for Peacock Streaming Service Due to Language Concerns". TVLine. June 5, 2020. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ https://www.amazon.com/Dick-Wolf/e/B00CF7JNH2
  26. ^ Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. "Hollywood Walk of Fame Recent Ceremonies". Archived from the original on 2007-03-29. Retrieved 2007-04-04.
  27. ^ "Consulate of Monaco in Los Angeles, United States". Embassypages.com. Retrieved 2017-01-25.
  28. ^ "Thompson's 'Candidacy' Draws Variety of Supporters". Memphis Daily News. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-05.
  29. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 4, 2012). "Dick Wolf & David Hudgins To Adapt British Series 'Injustice' For NBC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  30. ^ Ng, Philiana (October 12, 2012). "Dick Wolf Developing Cult Drama 'Church' at NBC". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  31. ^ "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.
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ Jodha, Michael (October 3, 2012). "There's no shortage of crimes for 'SVU,' says executive producer". CTV. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  34. ^ Pedersen, Erik. "Jared Leto To Direct James Ellroy Thriller '77' For Paramount". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  35. ^ Nightwatch on IMDb (2015-2018). Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  36. ^ "'Inside the FBI: New York' Promo Reveals Premiere for Dick Wolf Docuseries".
  37. ^ Petski, Denise (22 August 2017). "'Criminal Confessions': Dick Wolf's Oxygen Media Reality Series Gets Premiere Date, Trailer".

External linksEdit