Give TV mega-producer Dick Wolf a fish and some bread, and he probably wouldn't be able to feed the multitude, but he would be able to turn a television drama about fish and bread into a franchise spanning across four different shows. With the spinoff Chicago Justice, the fourth NBC drama set in the Windy City, coming later this year, the network could easily expand this universe even wider, but Wolf's future will more likely be much different. According to NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke:
I'd love to see Chicago stabilize and... look to New York for possibly another crime franchise down the line. Maybe something totally different in the world of FBI. We have [had conversations]. We don't have writers or anything, but we've had general conversations about that being an area that Dick is very interested in and that we would be very supportive in exploring.
History will often repeat itself, but it doesn't have to always be doomed, and it's a no-brainer why NBC would want to bring Dick Wolf's series-spawning vision back to New York City. I say "back," as if Law & Order: SVU isn't still chugging along after 17 seasons. But it's particularly that distinction of having a series that has lasted 17 years and counting that has to sound like a choir singing to NBC execs' ears. After all, one of the shortest-lived spinoffs in Wolf's lineup was the first Law & Order series to be set outside of NYC, as Law & Order: LA only lasted one season.
And it's not just about changing locations, either. It's also about hitting up a slightly different (for Dick Wolf) side of the law, since a show focused on FBI cases and personnel would be a change-up from the Chicago series' civil servants. I mean, there have been a billion TV shows about FBI agents already, so no one is going to give this theoretical concept any awards for being different. But a billion other TV shows would love to last as long as a Wolf-produced drama does, so there's the trade-off.
So for all intents and purposes, viewers and Wolf's fans should probably get ready for the Chicago-verse to be closed off after Chicago Justice debuts. According to EW, NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt spoke at the TCA press event and said that while he officially doesn't know what will happen, and that he would never rule out any ideas that Dick Wolf might have for another Chicago show, he thinks they'd be "gilding the lily" if they go beyond three spinoffs.
Not that having four shows set in the same city is limiting in the least, and NBC also confirmed the big four-way crossover event happening this fall. So that's definitely something to look forward to. And there's also the Law & Order: True Crime spinoff coming out that could also jump-start a different side of his shows. Chicago True Crime would have no lack of source material, am I right?
Chicago P.D. will hit NBC's schedule on Wednesday, September 21, Chicago Med will debut on Thursday, September 22, and Chicago Fire Season 5 will arrive on Tuesday, October 11. Chicago Justice has yet to get a release date. To see when everything else is coming to your TVs later this year, check out our fall premiere schedule.