Saturday, September 9, 2006


In September, we've been celebrating the creators behind the scenes who have made the cohesion of the TV Universe possible. In the past we've saluted Hanna & Barbera, Wm. T. Orr, and Gene Roddenberry (whose creation of 'Star Trek' celebrated its fortieth birthday yesterday).

Since we're running a year-long salute to 'Law & Order' in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, it's only fitting we tip our hats to Dick Wolf.

Richard A. ("Dick") Wolf is one of American television's most respected drama series creators and is an Emmy Award-winning producer, specializing in crime dramas.

He would soon became a television writer and finally a "show runner" and executive producer of 'Law & Order' (which he created), the most successful television franchise in the history of the industry. The show has been nominated for the most consecutive Emmy Awards of any primetime drama series.

He has also received awards for providing opportunities to minority actors in his television series.

Wolf serves as creator and executive producer of the four Law & Order drama series from Wolf Films and NBC Universal Television – Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Law & Order: Trial by Jury, as well as connected series 'Deadline' and 'Conviction'. (The last three were cancelled after their first seasons.)

His corner of the TV Universe has spread beyond the shows he produces for NBC. He also produced 'New York Undercover' for FOX and his recurring character of Dr. Elizabeth Olivet crossed networks to appear in an episode of that show.

And thanks to his friendship with producer/writer Tom Fontana, Wolf made several crossovers between the flagship of his franchise and 'Homicide: Life On The Street'. And in the greatest of all possible crossovers, Detective John Munch left Baltimore when that series ended and joined the 'Special Victims Unit' in NYC.

One of the trivial links for all of his shows has been the NY Ledger newspaper, and that even got its own short-lived series with 'Deadline'. Had he slapped a 'Law & Order:' at the beginning of that title, it may have succeeded. (Although it didn't prove to help the cause for 'Trial By Jury'.)

Here is a list of shows and TV movies that directly connect to his corner of the TV Universe:

'Law & Order: Trial by Jury'
'Law & Order: Criminal Intent'
'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'
"Exiled: A Law & Order Movie"
'New York Undercover'
'Law & Order'
"Homicide: The Movie"
'Homicide: Life On The Street'

And of course, from there, the links to the TV Universe are vast since there have been several connections made to 'St. Elsewhere'.

I'm not a big fan of his attitude towards the cases prosecuted on his show - that if they get that far, they're obviously guilty (although they might still get exonerated by the jury). But I do admire the way he's built up such a large piece of Toobworld Real Estate.

So for September, 2006, Dick Wolf is inducted into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, the Creators Wing.


"Well, television has become an unforgiving environment
And you don't get to make mistakes."

Dick Wolf

1 comment:

Reel Fanatic said...

Homicide is simply the greatest cop show ever, in my opinion, but Mr Wolf has definitely added some great works to the canon .. I was thrilled when Munch made the transition to the L&O team, and especially loved Jerry Orbach .. may he rest in peace