‘Law & Order’ Creator Dick Wolf Got His Start Writing Advertisements

by Taylor Cunningham

The creator of the hit Law & Order and One Chicago franchises got his start by writing popular TV ads that are still known to this day.

Dick Wolf is enjoying a lustrous Hollywood career with 10 hit series that are currently ruling prime time airwaves. The writer and producer is the genius behind 3 franchises that run on CBS and NBC. And in his earlier years, Wolfe also penned the scripts for movies such as School Ties and No Man’s Land.

And through his work, Wolf’s won 2 Emmy awards and has been nominated for 12 more. But interestingly, the procedural guru didn’t begin his career writing fiction. He actually got his start in the ad business.

According to a piece by Mental Floss, Wolf wrote television advertisements during the 1970s. And before he left the industry, he came up with iconic catchphrases like Proctor and Gamble’s “you can’t beat Crest for fighting cavities” and National Airline’s “I’m Cheryl; Fly Me.”

And though he was successful in the world of marketing, he wasn’t passionate about the work. So he took a chance and dove into Hollywood screenplays.

But what made Wolfe realize that he wanted to try his hands at something new?

“I turned 30,” he said in Law & Order: The Unofficial Companion, “and realized I didn’t want to sell toothpaste for the rest of my life.”

The Creator of ‘Law & Order’ Made a New A&E Serial Killer Documentary

Dick Wolf produced a new docuseries about infamous Midwestern serial killer Dennis Rader, which is set to debut next month.

The documentary—titled BTK: Confession of a Serial Killer—highlights new information found by forensic psychiatrist Katherine Ramsland. In the episodes, audiences will listen to recorded phone conversations and look into Rader’s coded journal.

Ramsland began studying Dennis Rader over a decade ago. And she still speaks to him today. Because of that, Dick Wolf believes she has insight that no other psychologists have gained.

“Through her deep and extraordinary work mapping some of the darkest corners of the human psyche, Dr. Ramsland has performed an invaluable service to law enforcement and the country at large,” Wolf said in a press release. “Her insights become tools with which we can identify other monsters like BTK earlier in their evolution, and I am pleased to further Dr. Ramsland’s mission through this important and gripping new series.”

Dennis Rader killed at least 10 people between 1974 and 1991. Rader would spend days stalking victims before sneaking into their homes and torturing them for hours.

He was dubbed the “BTK Killer” because he would bind, torture, and kill his victims. Like other famous serial killers, Rader also enjoyed taunting police with letters. And one of those letters led to his arrest.

In 2004, the FBI ended up tracing the letter to a computer that he used at his church, where he was a deacon.

BTK: Confession of a Serial Killer debuts in a two-night event January 8-9 on A&E.