Kingpin of series TV shifts the scene to Chicago

  • By Frazier Moore Associated Press
  • Tuesday, January 14, 2014 4:08pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Hours before last week’s premiere of his new series, “Chicago P.D.,” Dick Wolf acknowledged he was nervous.

Actually, “terrified” was the word he used.

This from a TV impresario whose credits include the hydra-headed “Law &Order” franchise and whose shows have been a prime-time mainstay every season for a quarter-century, a feat likely unmatched by any other producer.

Wolf’s “Law &Order: Special Victims Unit” is in its 15th season, airing Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

“Cold Justice,” a reality series where a former prosecutor and a former crime-scene investigator bring fresh eyes to moribund cases airs on TNT for its second season on Fridays at 8 p.m.

“Chicago Fire,” an action drama about big-city firefighters, is midway through its second robust season on NBC, airing Tuesdays at 10 p.m.

And now on NBC at 10 p.m. on Wednesdays is “Chicago P.D.,” a “Fire” spinoff that could spark a new franchise for Wolf: a “Chicago”-branded portfolio.

Why not? The morning after it premiered, Wolf would learn that a solid 8.6 million viewers had tuned in.

Centered on the Chicago Police Department’s scrappy Intelligence Unit, the series pits Detective Sgt. Hank Voight and his team against the worst killers, drug traffickers and mobsters the Windy City can deliver.

A righteous cop who plays dirty when he needs to, Voight is in good hands with series star Jason Beghe in a portrayal that began on last season’s “Chicago Fire.”

Invoking Detective Sipowicz from “NYPD Blue,” Wolf hailed Beghe as “the most interesting cop since Dennis Franz.”

At 67, Wolf is a veteran producer whose resume reaches back to “Miami Vice” in the mid-1980s, and who, through much of the past two decades, kept the lights on at NBC when it had little else anybody would watch.

Wolf described “Chicago P.D.” as “a big, old-time television top-drawer series production. Is it retro? Not to me. I just think it’s a really good cop show.”

Wolf is also marking the publication of his latest novel.

“The Execution” brings back NYPD Detective Jeremy Fisk, whom Wolf introduced in his first novel, “The Intercept.” Now Fisk’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is back on high alert as an elusive assassin heads to Manhattan for United Nations Week, when the world’s most powerful leaders will be gathered — and vulnerable.

But how did Wolf, with his TV empire to tend, find time to be an author?

“I’ve got small kids,” he replied with a laugh. “I have a very pleasant existence in Montecito (Calif.).

“I’m on a school schedule now, home in the morning 90 percent of the time. So writing became a routine.”

What he called “my quiet hope” is that these thrillers and their hero might inspire an annual Jeremy Fisk miniseries.

More in Life

Using a rod to assist in running wiring through an attic space, Don Thomas, of R&D Handyman Service, works on installing a ceiling fan at a home in SE Everett on Monday, July 24, 2017 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
                                Don Thomas of R&D Handyman Service installs a ceiling fan at a home in southeast Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
When fall chores loom, just hand them to the handyman

Here are three local businesses that can help you prepare your home for the rainy season.

And this year’s winners of Everett’s Monte Cristo Awards are…

The awards recognize local homeowners and businesses that take special care of their properties.

‘Happy Death Day’ applies ‘Groundhog Day’ premise on horror genre

Smart writing and Jessica Rothe’s performance make this worth seeing.

Adventurer 1st to finish Race to Alaska on stand-up paddleboard

Karl Kruger will speak about his trip at the Everett Mountaineers Banquet on Nov. 4 in Lynnwood.

Therapy helped ease debilitating pain after injury

Columnist Jennifer Bardsley shares her experiences with complex regional pain syndrome.

How to prune a hydrangea: An exception to the pruning rule

It helps to think of a growing blackberry vine when you’re about to cut back this blooming shrub.

Visiting Germany’s Lutherland, birthplace of Reformation

The sights include the church where the first Protestant service took place in 1521.

Can you top ‘Hamilton’? Author Ron Chernow is about to find out

The notable writer’s latest book, published Oct. 10, is a lengthy biography on Ulysses S. Grant.

Most Read