Universal Television signs new 5-year deal with iconic producer
Hall of Fame producer Dick Wolf and Wolf Entertainment have signed a new five-year deal to remain at Universal Television, a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios, his studio home for the past 36 years.
As part of Wolf’s new pact and in an unprecedented show of support for four of its highly popular dramas, NBC has given three-year pickups to its “Chicago” brand – “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.” and “Chicago Med” – as well as fan favorite and record-breaker “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” the longest-running live-action primetime program in TV history, now in its 21st season.
Wolf’s deal comes on the heels of his recent pact with NBCUniversal’s soon-to-be-launched streaming service Peacock, where Wolf’s extensive library – including both the “Law & Order” and “Chicago” franchises – will be available for users.
The pact also includes multiple series commitments.
“I’m gratified and excited that Universal will remain our home for five more years,” Wolf said. “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. 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.”
“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,” said Bonnie Hammer, chairman, NBCUniversal Content Studios. “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.”
“The significance of having Dick Wolf remain at Universal Television can’t be overstated,” said Pearlena Igbokwe, president, Universal Television. “Dick has proven himself masterful at building successful, iconic brands and telling gripping, intelligent and thought-provoking stories. It’s an honor and pleasure to be a part of the ‘Wolf Pack’ for the next five years. We’re also grateful to NBC for their continued support of the ‘Law & Order’ and ‘Chicago’ drama series.”
“Dick Wolf has proven time and time again that he makes shows audiences love,” said Paul Telegdy, chairman, NBC Entertainment. “We are delighted, excited and proud that as part of this epic deal with Wolf Entertainment, NBC’s loyal audience will know that their favorite shows have a certain future for the next three years.”
Last season, the three “Chicago” dramas reached a total of 66 million viewers through the course of the season, and so far this year have dominated Wednesday nights in total viewers and are poised to give NBC just its second Wednesday season-long win in total viewers in 17 years. All three series rank among television’s top seven most-watched dramas and all three are generating double-digit digital growth this season versus last. In “live plus seven day” Nielsens, “Chicago Med” is delivering 11.0 million viewers, “Fire” is averaging 11.4 million and “P.D.” is attracting 11.0 million, with a 1.7 rating in adults 18-49 for “Med,” a 1.9 for “Fire” and a 2.0 for “P.D.”
For the 2018-19 season “Law & Order: SVU” scored as television’s most-watched series with more than 150 billion minutes viewed across NBC, USA and Ion. For the 2019-20 season to date, “SVU” is No. 1 in its Thursday 10-11 p.m. timeslot versus regular ABC and CBS competition in adults 18-49 and total viewers. In “live plus seven day” Nielsens, “SVU” is averaging a 1.5 rating in 18-49 and 6.5 million viewers overall and with the addition of digital and linear delayed viewing to date, the show’s season premiere episode has climbed to a 3.9 in 18-49 and 11.1 million viewers overall.