Saturday, May 25, 2024

Exclusive: As Strike Continues, One TV Producer’s Deal Has Not Been Suspended — At Dick Wolf’s Office “We’re still working”


You may have read about the TV producers whose deals with the studios have been suspended because of the WGA and SAG AFTRA strikes.

The names include heavy hitters like Lorne Michaels, JJ Abrams, Chuck Lorre, Greg Berlanti, Bill Lawrence, John Wells. Lions Gate has out a half dozen producers including Paul Feig on ice. CBS has done the same with most everyone. So has NBC Universal, except for one: Dick Wolf.

Someone who answered the phone yesterday at Wolf Entertainment said yesterday. “We’re still working. We’re here.”

Wolf Entertainment is currently the biggest TV producer anywhere. Wolf has nine hours of primetime TV every week: all of Tuesday night on CBS with his “FBI” shows, all of Wednesday and Thursday nights on NBC with his “Chicago” and “Law & Order” shows.

But in all the announcements of TV producers’ deals being placed on hold, Wolf’s is the one never mentioned. He’s the king of TV. In a way, you have to admire that. Neither NBC nor CBS has made a move against him.

“They never will,” says a source. “They’re afraid of him.”

That any network is afraid of any producer is amazing. But of course they’re afraid. Without those nine hours, primetime would be blank. There’s too much at stake to start a war with Wolf’s empire. And think of it: NBC cut off Lorne Michaels, their one other consistent money maker and flag waver for almost 50 years.

Hats off to Wolf. When the strikes are over, he’ll be ready to go. If anyone survives the strikes and is back on the air first, it will be Wolf.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
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.

Read more

In Other News