Dick Wolf

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Dick Wolf
Wolf standing at a lectern
Wolf in 2010
Born Richard Anthony Wolf
(1946-12-20) December 20, 1946 (age 71)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Other names Richard A. Wolf
Richard Wolf
Richard D. Wolff
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania
Occupation Television writer, director, executive producer, creator
Known for Law & Order franchise
Chicago franchise
Home town New York City, New York, U.S.
Spouse(s) Susan Scranton (m. 1970; div. 1983)
Christine Marburg (m. 1983; div. 2005)
Noelle Lippman (m. 2006)[1]
Children 5

Richard Anthony Wolf (born December 20, 1946) is an American television producer, best known as the creator and executive producer of the Law & Order franchise, which since 1990 has included six police/courtroom dramas and four international spinoffs, as well as a creator and executive producer of the Chicago franchise, which since 2012 has included four Chicago-based police, courtroom, fire, and medical dramas. Wolf has won numerous awards, including an Emmy Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Wolf has also authored four books. The first, nonfiction Law & Order: Crime Scenes, is a companion to the Law & Order television series.[2] The Intercept, The Execution, and The Ultimatum are volumes in a thriller series with N.Y.P.D. Detective Jeremy Fisk.[3]

Early life

Wolf was born in New York City, the son of Marie G. (née Gaffney), a homemaker, and George Wolf, an advertising executive.[4] His father was Jewish, and his mother was Roman Catholic of Irish descent.

He was an altar boy[5] and attended Saint David's School, The Gunnery,[6][7] and the University of Pennsylvania (class of 1969), where he belonged to the Zeta Psi fraternity.[8] He also attended Phillips Academy.[9]


Wolf worked as an advertising copywriter at Benton & Bowles creating commercials for Crest toothpaste, including the slogan "You can't beat Crest for fighting cavities". He is also credited with the campaign "I'm Cheryl, fly me" for National Airlines. Yet despite his success in copywriting, all the while he was writing screenplays in the hopes of a film career. It was at this time that he briefly collaborated on a screenplay with Oliver Stone, who was a struggling screenwriter at the time. He moved to Los Angeles after a few years and had three screenplays produced; one of these films, Masquerade (1988) starring Rob Lowe and Meg Tilly, was well received. He started his television career as a staff writer on Hill Street Blues and was nominated for his first Emmy for an episode entitled "What Are Friends For?", on which he was the only writer. While working on Hill Street Blues, Wolf became close friends with Tom Fontana, then writing for the series St. Elsewhere, produced in the same building, at the same time.[10] Wolf moved from Hill Street Blues to Miami Vice, where he was a writer and co-producer for the third and fourth seasons.[11]

Wolf's Law & Order, which ran from 1990 to 2010, tied Gunsmoke for the longest-running dramatic show in television history, making it one of television's most successful franchises. It has been nominated for the most consecutive Emmy Awards of any primetime drama series. Wolf serves as creator and executive producer of the current Law & Order drama series from Wolf Films and NBC Universal Television – Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – and did so for the four that have been cancelled – Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Trial by Jury, Law & Order: UK, and Law & Order: Los Angeles.[12] Along with Kevin Arkadie, he co-created the police drama, New York Undercover which ran on the Fox Broadcasting Company Network from 1994 to 1998. He also served as Executive Producer to the series. He was the creator and executive producer of NBC's courtroom reality series Crime & Punishment, which chronicled real-life cases prosecuted by the San Diego District Attorney’s office. Many of Wolf's series have intersected with the Law & Order franchise in some fashion, and the Law & Order series have been adapted into several foreign versions. Wolf's company also produced Twin Towers, the 2003 Academy Award-winning Short Documentary about two brothers, one a policeman and the other a fireman, who lost their lives in the line of duty on September 11, 2001. Wolf was also involved with the production of a theatrical documentary about the popular rock group The Doors, titled When You're Strange.[citation needed]

Wolf developed Chicago Fire, a drama about a group of men and women working at the Chicago Fire Department. The series was picked up by NBC in May 2012,[13] and premiered on October 10, 2012, with meek numbers in the ratings and minimal reviews in the first few weeks before spiking to NBC's #2 scripted drama series, under Revolution.[14] In March 2013, NBC announced intentions for a spin-off of Chicago Fire, revolving around the Chicago Police Department.[15] Derek Haas, Michael W. Brandt, and Matt Olmstead are executive producers under Wolf.[16] Afterwards, Wolf developed the unscripted show Cold Justice, a documentary drama, for TNT.[17]

Wolf's personal honors include the Award of Excellence from the Banff Television Festival, the 2002 Creative Achievement Award from NATPE; the Anti-Defamation League's Distinguished Entertainment Industry Award, the Leadership and Inspiration Award from the Entertainment Industries Council, the Governor's Award by the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the 1997 achievement award from the Caucus for Producers, Writers, and Directors, the 1998 Television Showman of the Year Award from the Publicists Guild of America, the 2002 Tribute from the Museum of Television and Radio, and a 2003 Special Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. On March 29, 2007, Wolf received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7040 Hollywood Boulevard.[18] In 2013 Wolf was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. Wolf is also an Honorary Consul general of Monaco[19] and is actively involved in the principality’s prestigious annual Television Festival, and is its primary liaison with the entertainment community.[citation needed]

In addition to having been a classmate of former U.S. President George W. Bush, Wolf was an employer of Fred Thompson, who sought the Republican nomination for President in 2008 with help of the national attention he gained playing the district attorney on Law & Order. Wolf supported Thompson in his bid, as did Bush. It was reported that Wolf contributed to Thompson's campaign before he officially announced he was running.[20]

Wolf's future projects for NBC are an American adaption of the United Kingdom psychological legal drama series Injustice[21] as well as a drama series revolving around a satanic cult, tentatively titled The Church. Wolf is writing the latter project with Howard Franklin.[22][23] Wolf also has an untitled pilot about an insurance investigator on USA Network.[24]

With Wolf pursuing projects other than Law & Order, he and current Law & Order: Special Victims Unit show runner/executive producer Warren Leight sometimes discuss the future of the Law & Order franchise and revitalizing it; Leight commenting "(Dick Wolf and I) sometimes talk in general terms of where (the franchise) could go. I'm curious to see if there's another iteration somewhere down the line."[25]



  1. ^ "Dick Wolf, wife welcome baby girl - USATODAY.com". Usatoday30.usatoday.com. 2007-09-23. Retrieved 2017-01-25. 
  2. ^ "LAW & ORDER: Crime Scenes". Publishers Weekly. 15 September 2003. Retrieved October 29, 2012. 
  3. ^ DeSilva, Bruce (October 22, 2012). "The Intercept". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Dick Wolf profile, FilmReference.com; accessed February 1, 2014.
  5. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/07/arts/church-woes-are-invading-tv-pilots-story-lines-mirror-public-disenchantment-with.html
  6. ^ https://explorewashingtonct.com/things_to_do/the-gunnery/
  7. ^ http://frostsnow.com/dick-wolf
  8. ^ Eshman, Rob (October 16, 1997). "A Wolf Among 'Sheep'". Jewish Journal. Retrieved October 24, 2012. 
  9. ^ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/dialogue-dick-wolf-133061
  10. ^ "Dick Wolf Interview". Archive of American Television. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation. 2013-04-21. Retrieved 2016-05-10. 
  11. ^ Dick Wolf, Interview, Archive of American Television, 2008, Accessed March 16, 2017
  12. ^ Weiner, Allison Hope (May 23, 2005). "Case Closed". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 15, 2010. 
  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 9, 2012). "NBC Renews 'Law & Order: SVU, Picks Up 'Chicago Fire', Inks New Deal With Dick Wolf". Deadline.com. Retrieved May 9, 2012. 
  14. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (October 11, 2012). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'The X Factor', 'Survivor', 'The Neighbors' & 'Modern Family' Adjusted Up; No Adjustments for 'Arrow'". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2012. 
  15. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 27, 2013). "NBC Eyes 'Chicago Fire' Spinoff Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  16. ^ Slezak, Michael (March 27, 2013). "Chicago Fire Spreading? NBC Considering Police-Centric Spinoff Series". TV Line. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  17. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (May 16, 2012). "Upfronts 2012: TNT Developing Shows From Steven Bochco, Dick Wolf, Matthew McConaughey, More". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 16, 2012. 
  18. ^ Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. "Hollywood Walk of Fame Recent Ceremonies". Archived from the original on 2007-03-29. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  19. ^ "Consulate of Monaco in Los Angeles, United States". Embassypages.com. Retrieved 2017-01-25. 
  20. ^ "Thompson's 'Candidacy' Draws Variety of Supporters". Memphis Daily News. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-05. 
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 4, 2012). "Dick Wolf & David Hudgins To Adapt British Series 'Injustice' For NBC". Deadline. Retrieved October 16, 2012. 
  22. ^ Ng, Philiana (October 12, 2012). "Dick Wolf Developing Cult Drama 'Church' at NBC". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 16, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Dick Wolf of 'Law & Order' will try a new genre with drama 'The Church'". New York Daily News. October 15, 2012. Retrieved October 16, 2012. 
  24. ^ Rose, Lacey (May 17, 2012). "Upfronts 2012: Bryan Fuller, Dick Wolf, Kelsey Grammer Projects Join USA's Scripted Development Slate". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 16, 2012. 
  25. ^ Jodha, Michael (October 3, 2012). "There's no shortage of crimes for 'SVU,' says executive producer". CTV. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  26. ^ http://ew.com/tv/2017/03/25/inside-the-fbi-new-york-promo-premiere-dick-wolf/
  27. ^ http://deadline.com/2017/08/criminal-confessions-dick-wolf-oxygen-media-reality-series-premiere-date-trailer-1202153359
  28. ^ Pedersen, Erik. "Jared Leto To Direct James Ellroy Thriller '77' For Paramount". Deadline. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 

External links

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