‘Law & Order,’ ‘Chicago,’ and ‘FBI’ Franchises Are About to Get a Big Global Push: Here’s How

by Lauren Boisvert
(Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)

Wolf Entertainment, which owns the “Law & Order,” “Chicago,” and “FBI” franchises, is pushing for a global format. This is following a new sales unit set up by the company and the Universal Studio Group. The aim is to adapt the shows for a global audience, and drive international business.

Wolf Entertainment hired former NBCUniversal TV Distribution executive Leslie Jones to lead the unit. Jones previously struck up deals for “Law & Order” that saw it remade for a UK market. “SVU” was made in Russia and “Criminal Intent” in France as well.

According to Deadline, the move is odd; usually, NBCUniversal’s international distribution division handles deals like this, not the entertainment company itself. But, Dick Wolf has always done things his own way. Can’t see him stopping now.

“We are getting back into the format business, and I am thrilled that Leslie is back doing what she does best… selling international formats of our shows,“ Wolf said in a statement. “As our company grows and our brands expand, Leslie is the ideal partner to reignite the business.”

In her own statement, Leslie Jones said, “I am honored and energized to be entrusted with the best written formats in the world and I look forward to working with Universal Studio Group and Wolf Entertainment to maximize the potential of these iconic series. It will be advantageous for clients to have direct contact with the Wolf team to produce these universally-appealing shows with world-class writing and production values and we look forward to working with our partners to culturally adapt these treasures. Scripted formats offer a shorter development process thus saving broadcasters time and money while preserving their localism.”

‘Law & Order’ Revival Only One Month Away

On the topic of the Dick Wolf multiverse, the “Law & Order” revival is so close I can hear the opening narration in my dreams. On February 24, the franchise’s flagship series is returning to the small screen.

The formula of the procedural will stay exactly the same, and so will some of the characters. Sam Waterston’s Jack McCoy is back, as well as Anthony Anderson’s Kevin Bernard. “Hannibal” star Hugh Dancy has signed on to play executive ADA Nathan Price. “Burn Notice” star Jeffrey Donovan will play detective Frank Cosgrove.

Cast as Lieutenant Kate Dixon, Van Buren’s successor, is Camryn Manheim. Additionally, Odelya Halevi has signed on to play ADA Samantha Maroun.

A great cast, and a great reason to celebrate next month. The revival should look familiar, as the formula for the episodes won’t change much. The first half of the episode focuses on the crime; the second half focuses on the prosecution. Those of you who love the “Law & Order” franchise, you have a lot to look forward to this year.