May 9, 2012

THE SKED: NBC Cries Wolf


Network regimes come and go, ratings rise and (recently) fall, but one thing has been consistent at NBC for almost a quarter-century:  the presence of producer Dick Wolf and his LAW & ORDER franchise.  Hard times have come to L&O, and what was once a powerhouse triple-feature for the network is now just SVU, a show that hasn’t even seen a 2 rating (or a timeslot win) in a long time.  (Particularly unfortunate in a season that’s seen competitor CSI revivified by new cast members Ted Danson and Elisabeth Shue.)  Nevertheless, NBC announced today that SVU will be returning for a 14th season–partly, no doubt, because its in-house studio produces the show and series episodes will rerun on cable TV forever.


The new deal with Wolf also includes a pick-up of the producer’s new series CHICAGO FIRE, a drama that looks to be exactly what the title implies:  an ensemble procedural where the heroes are firefighters instead of cops, set in the Windy City instead of the Big Apple, but that will no doubt feature Wolf’s trademark brisk just-the-facts-ma’am tone.

This boosts NBC’s pre-Upfront pickups to 5 comedies and 2 dramas, so Monday’s announcements are likely to be much more about the network’s specific fall schedule than many additional new arrivals.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."