1:00pm PT by Kate Stanhope
NBC Renews 'Law & Order: SVU,' 'Chicago Med'; Re-ups Dick Wolf's Deal Through 2020
NBC is staying firmly in the Dick Wolf business.
The network has renewed two of the prolific producer's series, Law & Order: SVU and Chicago Med, and extended his overall deal through 2020, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The deal continues one of the network's longest-running and most fruitful relationships. In addition to the Chicago franchise, which also includes the already renewed Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D, Wolf created Law & Order. The legal drama ran for 20 seasons and spawned two long-running spinoffs, SVU as well as Criminal Intent.
Now that SVU will definitely make it to season 18, the big question is whether the Mariska Hargitay-led spinoff will be able to do what Law & Order could not and become the longest-running primetime scripted drama in the history of television. Law & Order was unceremoniously canceled in 2010 just one season short of breaking that record, held by Gunsmoke.
Although SVU continues to deliver in the ratings for NBC, there had been some questions about the show's future because of it's age, the upcoming exit of showrunner Warren Leight at the end of season 17, as well as the news about a possible third Chicago spinoff, Chicago Law, which NBC officially put into development earlier this month.
On the upside, a tweet from Hargitay made it sound like the Emmy winner, who has been with SVU from the beginning, will return next season.
Chicago Med's renewal for a second season seemed all but a given considering the medical drama's solid numbers. The series, which premiered in November after several cast changes and a showrunner exit, has averaged a 2.8 rating among adults 18-49 in live-plus-seven numbers. Med joins Fire and P.D., which were renewed for seasons five and four, respectively, in November.
In addition to the three Chicago shows and Law & Order: SVU, Wolf also has an unscripted series at NBC: Law & Order: You the Jury. The series all hail from Universal Television, which produces with Wolf's Wolf Films banner.
"Dick Wolf is a without a doubt one of the greatest producers in the history of dramatic television," NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said. "The Law & Order legacy would have been enough to set him apart from all the rest, but the Chicago franchise now kicks him into the stratosphere. He has been a defining voice of NBC for over a generation, and he is most welcome at this company forever."
Added NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke: "I’m personally thrilled to be working so closely with Dick, and on behalf of everyone at NBC and Universal Television we are so happy to extend our relationship with all the incredibly talented people at Wolf Entertainment. His brand is pure quality, and our continuing partnership is not only great for us but even better for broadcast television."
In addition to his large slate at NBC, Wolf also has Cold Justice and Cold Justice: Sex Crimes at TNT, 3am at Showtime and Night Watch on A&E.
"I’ve been in the same office, with the same phone number, for 30 years. I’m glad people won’t have to learn a new one," Wolf said. "Staying was really a foregone conclusion. My partnership with Bob has been the best relationship I’ve ever had with the head of a network. He has also assembled a great team of executives at both the network and the studio who make it possible for the Wolf Entertainment team to turn out multiple shows. It is truly a synergistic group effort that makes me enormously excited about both the present and the future."
Wolf is repped by attorney Cliff Gilbert-Lurie, WME's Rick Rosen and 3 Arts Entertainment's Richard Abate.
Feb. 1, 4 p.m. Updated with tweet from SVU star/producer Mariska Hargitay.