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.