'Chicago Fire' EP Dick Wolf Addresses Boston Tragedy, Spinoff Plans

NBC Chicago Fire Panel - H 2013

NBC Chicago Fire Panel - H 2013

Chicago Fire may be branching out with a spinoff, but there won't be any speculation on Dick Wolf's part.

"There is always talk about every possible permutation," the executive producer told reporters Monday at NBCUniversal's summer press day in Pasadena. "I'm always optimistic."

With numerous networks relying on franchises (see: The CW with The Vampire Diaries, CBS with NCIS: LA, ABC with Once Upon a Time) to expand universes and with Chicago Fire in the mix, Wolf cites his Law & Order as the start of the trend.

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"We started it," Wolf told The Hollywood Reporter of networks' current spinoff desires. "When you can turn something into a brand, it's very advantageous."

For Wolf, should Chicago Fire -- which has remained a steady ratings performer Wednesday nights for NBC -- follow in the footsteps of a Law & Order perhaps, the Windy City setting is enough to sustain a franchise.

"Chicago, it is the heart of this country," he said. "It doesn't seem strange to have firefighters in Chicago doing this stuff. That's what Chicago is. The city of big shoulders and the city that represents the heart of this country and the core values. Nobody questions it."

Would a Chicago Fire spinoff center more on police work (as THR reported in late March)? "Certainly a possibility," Wolf said.

But if the spinoff idea, which will be introduced in the season finale May 22, did not move forward, he said the episode would be "a very interesting experiment" and "serve as a jumping-off point for next season."

NBC has yet to officially renew Chicago Fire for a second season, but Wolf is optimistic that it will return; the same can be said for long-running procedural Law & Order: SVU. "Hopefully it's coming back and hopefully it'll do better next year," he said, adding that viewers look to broadcast for "comfort food."

When asked whether the show would pay homage to the Boston firefighters and first-responders in a second-season episode, Wolf was hesitant.

"It's tough dealing with terrorism. It's very tough," Wolf said. "The last thing we want to do is exploit a tragedy and that is so specific that it would be difficult."

E-mail: Philiana.Ng@thr.com
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