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Dick Wolf on reviving Law & Order after more than a decade: "I never give up on things I believe in"

  • "It took a long time, but the journey was worth it," Wolf tells Variety of NBC's announcement last week that it is reviving Wolf's classic Emmy-winning drama for a 21st season, 11 years after it was abruptly canceled. Wolf wouldn't go into details about the revival, but said that the L&O formula will stay largely intact. “This will be Season 21, so it’s the same Law & Order everyone knows from the first 20 years,” he says. “So there’s really nothing to fix, we just want to continue telling great stories. Casting as always will be three cops and three D.A.s.” The 2021-2022 season so far has been good for the Wolf brand. CBS' Tuesday lineup of FBI, FBI: Most Wanted and FBI: International has done well. So has NBC's decision to have three Chicago shows on Thursday and two Law & Order shows on Thursdays. "All told, the eight Wolf shows combined to reach an unduplicated audience of 36.2 million viewers in week one of the fall 2021 TV season," says Variety's Michael Schneider. "According to NBCUniversal research, around 14% of all adults in the United States watched at least one of Wolf’s shows — of the Law & Order, Chicago or FBI variety — within the first three days of air."


    • Why the Law & Order revival isn't a Peacock original: NBC Universal is focused "on securing the biggest audience for L&O rather than airing it exclusively on Peacock," explains The Hollywood Reporter's Lesley Goldberg. The new Law & Order's episodes will still show up on Peacock and Hulu the day after airing on NBC. “The Law & Order brand reaches different audiences across all of our platforms, and our goal is to bring the largest number of viewers possible to the show,” adds Lisa Katz, president of entertainment scripted content at NBCUniversal TV and streaming. “This strategy enables us to leverage the broad reach of the network while also making the show incredibly accessible to all of its fans on Peacock. It isn’t a case of ‘either/or’ but rather ‘yes, and.’”
    • Dick Wolf says the writing is of utmost important in his Law & Order, Chicago and FBI series: “It’s always the writing,” Wolf tells E.T. “There are a lot of really great actors out there but they don't make up the words, and the words are what people are initially attracted to. And it’s what keeps them around for long, long periods of time.” 

    TOPICS: Law & Order, CBS, NBC, Peacock, Law & Order: Organized Crime, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Dick Wolf, FBI Franchise, One Chicago Franchise