Tuesday, April 23, 2024

UPDATED Kelli Giddish Was First with “SVU,” Now Jesse Lee Soffer is Leaving a Dick Wolf Show, “Chicago PD”

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Dick Wolf is downsizing, and fast.

First Kelli Giddish was pushed out of “Law and Order SVU” after 11 seasons in a salary negotiating stand off.

Now Jesse Lee Soffer, who’s been on “Chicago PD” for 10 seasons — since the beginning — is out.

Like Giddish, it appears Soffer was forced out. He wrote on Twitter: “This is sad but true. Just want all the fans to know how grateful I am. You guys are why we do it! It has been an honor. Love you all

Soffer plays Det. Jay Halstead. He’s the second star of the show behind Jason Beghe. Like Giddish he came to Wolf world after a hit run on a soap opera (“As the World Turns”).

Interestingly, both shows– “SVU” and “Chicago PD” — are on NBC. The network is threatening to wipe out the 10pm hour of programming, and soon. Since Wolf shows take up two full nights of NBC programming, Wolf would be severely affected by that decision.

Soffer said in a prepared statement to Variety: “I want to thank the incredible fans for their unwavering support during the past 10 years and want to express my deepest gratitude to Dick Wolf and everyone at Wolf Entertainment, Peter Jankowski, Matt Olmstead, Derek Haas, Michael Brandt, Rick Eid, Gwen Sigan, NBC, Universal Television, my fellow castmates and our incredible crew,” he said in a statement to Variety on Monday. “To create this hour drama week after week has been a labor of love by everyone who touches the show. I will always be proud of my time as Det. Jay Halstead.””

So who’s next? The modus operandi here seems to be get the longest tenured, highest paid actors out of these shows. It’s a lot like Shonda Rhimes’s “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Someone should hire Giddish and Soffer for a new police show. You know, Paul Sorvino never forgave Wolf for ditching him after 1 1/2 seasons on “Law & Order.” Over the years, Wolf played all kinds of games with actors on his shows no matter how popular they were.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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