Though there are certainly other shows available to watch from other creators, it doesn’t feel unfair to say that Dick Wolf runs television. At the very least, he runs Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. The legendary producer is responsible for no less than nine hit series, all currently running, all air during prime time, and all renewed for new seasons next year.
Tuesday nights on CBS are reserved for FBI, FBI: Most Wanted, and FBI: International. Then there’s Wednesday nights on NBC, where you’ll find Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, and Chicago Med. Last is Thursday night’s NBC lineup featuring Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, and Law & Order: Organized Crime.
There are two television tools by which Dick Wolf swears: “stacks” (airing shows in clusters) and crossover storytelling, both of which he uses to perfection, despite being told that it would “never happen.”
In an interview with Variety, Dick Wolf explained that he designed his three TV universes in such a way that the crossover possibilities between shows are endless. “It’s a constant exploration of possibilities,” Wolf said. “There are 56 actors under contract. The concept is there are nine shows, and anybody who’s in any of the nine shows can appear in the other eight, even on different networks. It’s pretty cool.”
Colleagues Praise Dick Wolf’s Shows and Television Genius
Dick Wolf not only has a fantastic mind for television, he’s also beloved by everyone who works with him. From actors to TV execs to the various crew members of his nine series, no one seems to be able to say enough about the talented producer.
Susan Rovner, the chairman of entertainment for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming attributes Wolf’s astounding success to his unwavering commitment to his audience. “His understanding of his audience is unparalleled. It amazes me, constantly,” Rovner explained to Variety. “It comes from doing this for so long and learning what his audience responds to. He really pays attention.”
Part of creating a successful show that remains popular for decades is the ability to keep up with the times. Unsurprisingly, Dick Wolf is adept at that skill as well. “He’s not stuck in a formula,” Rovner added. “He’s evolved and kept up with a changing world.”
For Pearlena Igbokwe, chairman of Universal Studio Group, Wolf’s ambition seemed dangerously high. After seeing him work, however, she’s realized that he’s capable of just about anything. So when he informed her of his plan to add yet another night to his already staggering lineup, she didn’t give it a second thought.
“It took me a while. And then I learned. He’ll say these ambitious things, and then he does it. And now I never doubt a thing he says,” Igbokwe said. “He’s said to me, ‘I will be the last man standing in broadcast. That’s my ambition.’ He’s not only standing — he’s towering.”