Following lengthy renegotiations, Dick Wolf is staying put at Universal TV. As part of the five-year overall pact, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med and Chicago PD, as well as Law & Order: SVU have been picked up for three more seasons, with other series commitments coming down the road. NBC has been Wolf’s home for 36 years.
According to the Wolf Entertainment website, all parties are extremely celebratory, signing what’s described as a “monstrous” new, five-year overall pact that will see the company continue to create and develop new projects for the NBCUniversal-owned studio.
Included in the deal are three-season renewals for all of Wolf’s NBC dramas: Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med and Law & Order: SVU, in the midst of its 21st season, is now the longest running live-action primetime show. The new deal also includes multiple series commitments for future endeavors from Wolf and his company.
The renewals cover Chicago Fire through its 11th season; Chicago Med through its eighth; and Chicago PD through its 10th. SVU, meanwhile, is now picked up through its impressive 24th cycle, four more seasons than the flagship series that launched the franchise.
Sources say the overall deal plus last month’s library deal with NBCU’s Peacock could have a combined value of close to $1 billion.
“I’m gratified and excited that Universal will remain our home for five more years,” Wolf said in a statement. “This new term deal complements our recently concluded agreement to make Peacock one of the primary destinations for both the L&O and Chicago brands, as well as our extraordinary three-year NBC broadcast pickups on all four current series.”
Adding, “We are now supercharged to expand our business on new platforms, both domestically and internationally, while continuing to produce our current and future series for broadcasting and streaming networks.”
When speaking about the Wolf deal, Bonnie Hammer, Chairman of NBCUniversal Content Studios said, “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with Dick over the decades and it goes without saying he remains one of the most influential producers in history. He is a visionary unlike any other whose impact has changed the entire television landscape. We’re beyond thrilled to have Dick and his team remain in the NBCUniversal family for many years to come.”
Wolf had been expected to renew his decades-long overall deal with Universal TV. He reportedly values loyalty and consistency, with negotiations having been underway for some time ahead of the June expiration of his current agreement.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Wolf’s deal is in line with nine-figure overall deals for the likes of Ryan Murphy ($300 million from Netflix) and Greg Berlanti ($400 million from Warners).
No new Chicago spinoffs are currently being planned and an expansion of Wolf’s CBS franchise, FBI and FBI: Most Wanted, would fall outside of this new pact. The additional series commitments, sources say, were the cornerstone of Wolf’s new overall.
The mega-producer is said to have not given up any of his ownership points on any of his shows while also receiving a nine-figure upfront payday that alone would dwarf most first-look pacts.
Wolf currently has six scripted shows on the air: NBC’s Law & Order: SVU, Chicago PD, Chicago Fire and Chicago Med; and CBS’ FBI and spinoff FBI: Most Wanted.
Cinespace Studio President, Alex Pissios said, “I couldn’t be happier for the amazing cast and outstanding Chicago crews involved in the production of these three shows.”
Jeanne Caliendo who is currently a producer on Chicago PD and was UPM & Producer on Chicago Fire reacted joyfully. “AMAZING! Three seasons, four shows. I don’t think that’s ever been done.”
WME and attorney Ziffren Brittenham’s Cliff Gilbert-Lurie negotiated the deal.
SOURCE: Wolf Entertainment