Dick Wolf lets the headlines inspire his stories. And you’ll probably notice how familiar they are when FBI and its spinoffs premiere later this month.
Wolf perfected the plan when he created the Law & Order franchise for NBC. The episodes never felt contrived because the details were all based on real life. And now Wolf is doing the same for CBS and FBI, FBI: Most Wanted and FBI: International. CBS programmed an entire Tuesday night for the shows.
All three premiere, Sept. 21. They should flow seamlessly from hour to hour with all three episodes focusing on the same storyline. Wolf and some of the stars of all three series were on hand earlier this week to talk premiere details with the media.
“I think that the crossover embodies what these shows are supposed to be,” Wolf said. “All these shows are fiction. I start with that. But there are certain elements in this show that will remind the audience of Jeffrey Epstein and Steve Bing, and other people that have been in the papers over the past year, Ghislaine Maxwell.
“It’s really exciting. It’s not the same story,” the FBI creator said. “But it’s a story that in its scale not only justifies but thrives on three hours in a row. And we know these work. When they’re done well, they’re ratings crack. To be able to introduce International with a three-way crossover, I think is an amazing opportunity which I’m very, very grateful to the powers that be at CBS for saying, ‘Go for it and do it and hopefully knock it out of the park.’”
Characters Based on Epstein, Bing Would Fit FBI
Jeffrey Epstein seems like an obvious story to tell for a series based on FBI cases. He was the notorious millionaire who died in jail in 2019 nearly a month after he was charged with sex trafficking of minors. His death was ruled a suicide, although there are many who believed he was murdered. Epstein was associated with famous, powerful men, including former presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump and Great Britain’s Prince Andrew. Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite, was a close friend of Epstein’s. She’s been in jail for the past year as she awaits trial on sex trafficking charges.
Steve Bing also is a compelling character for Wolf to layer into FBI or its spinoffs. Bing, who was 55, committed suicide in June 2020. He committed suicide by jumping from his 27th floor Los Angeles apartment. Bing inherited a $600 million fortune from his grandfather when he was only 18. He did work as a Hollywood producer and screenwriter and dated several high-profile women. When he died, his fortune had dwindled to $300,000.
The FBI opening episode will investigate the death of a young murder victim who’d just left a ritzy party on a yacht. FBI: Most Wanted deals with the manhunt. Then FBI: International picks up the case as agents, who are based in Hungary, chase the fugitive who is in Croatia with a 14-year-old girl.