Dick Wolf's CBS Drama 'FBI' Getting the Spinoff Treatment

'Most Wanted' will air in the spring as a planted episode of the freshman procedural. The project comes with a series commitment penalty.
Michael Parmelee/CBS
'FBI'

File this one under "inevitable."

Dick Wolf is expanding his CBS empire with a spinoff of his recently renewed freshman procedural FBI. The network is reteaming with Wolf for FBI: Most Wanted, a spinoff that will air in the spring as a planted episode of the flagship series. Most Wanted has been picked up with a massive series commitment attached, meaning should CBS pass on the spinoff, the network would have to pay out a sizable sum to Wolf and UTV.

Wolf and frequent collaborator Rene Balcer (who is a consulting producer on FBI) will pen the script and executive produce alongside Peter Jankowski — who serves as president and CEO of Wolf Films — and Arthur W. Forney. Fred Berner (FBI, Chicago PD) will direct the episode.

The spinoff follows the department of the FBI tasked with tracking and capturing the criminals on its Most Wanted list. An airdate for the episode has not been determined.

The spinoff should come as little surprise. When presenting FBI to the press last summer, Wolf was open about his desire to use the series starring Missy Peregrym and Jeremy Sisto as a launchpad for other offshoots. "If this one works, I'd anticipate we'd all try to double down in some way. It's worked before," Wolf said with a nod to his three-show Chicago franchise on NBC.

Like FBI, the spinoff will be a co-production between Universal Television — where Wolf remains under a lucrative overall deal — and CBS Television Studios.

In addition to Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and Chicago Med, Wolf also has his history-making Law & Order: SVU at NBC. A spinoff of the latter series, Law & Order: Hate Crimes, was also picked up straight to series at NBC for the 2019-2020 broadcast season.

For his part, Wolf and Jankowski are also developing a reboot of their 1990s Fox procedural New York Undercover at ABC this season as the prolific producer looks to spread his footprint to a third broadcast network. That script, which has a sizable penalty attached, is awaiting a formal pilot order. 

Jankowski has been Wolf's go-to for years, having worked on Chicago Med, Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, FBI, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order True Crime, Chicago Justice, Law & Order: Los Angeles and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, as well as the one that started it all, the flagship L&O series. Balcer's credits in the Wolf-verse include the miniseries Law & Order: True Crime, L&O: UK, L&O: Los Angeles and L&O: Criminal Intent, as well as the flagship. He is repped by WME, Brillstein Entertainment and Rohner Walerstein. 

Wolf is with WME, 3 Arts and Ziffren Briettenham. 

FBI — picked up straight to series — has been a reliable performer this season for CBS despite starting off on a rocky path. The drama ranks as the network's most-watched new series of the season and was on its third showrunner after episode three aired. FBI was among the first rookie series at CBS to score a renewal.

FBI: Most Wanted is the fourth spinoff in the works this pilot season and joins The CW's Katy Keene, Jane the Novela and Batwoman — offshoots of Riverdale, Jane the Virgin and the Arrow-verserespectively.

Keep up with the latest broadcast pilot season pickups, castings and series orders with The Hollywood Reporter's annual guide.