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Over the past few decades, TV super producer Dick Wolf has become known for the hard hitting dramas that he's brought to NBC. From the original Law & Order to Chicago Fire, he's someone that people look to when thinking about how to successfully bring intense drama to television, and begin franchises that see characters and storylines cross over on a regular basis. Well, many people were surprised when Dick Wolf's latest drama, FBI, hit CBS last fall, but the show has been a ratings winner and now, it's getting a spinoff.
FBI is still in its freshman season, but a plan has already been set in motion to introduce characters for a proposed spinoff on the series this spring. The new show, which, right now, is titled FBI: Most Wanted, will first air as a backdoor pilot during an episode of FBI. Even if you're not familiar with the term "backdoor pilot," you've probably seen at least one if you watch any show that's gotten a spinoff. Basically, one episode of the flagship series is used to set up the world, characters and major conflicts that will be seen should the spinoff get a series order and end up on the air. And, CBS has actually already given FBI: Most Wanted a series commitment, meaning that a pickup for several episodes is very likely.
As the title of the proposed spinoff implies, FBI: Most Wanted will focus on a specialized team of FBI agents who are tasked with tracking, locating and then bringing in the dangerous criminals of the FBI's most wanted list. According to Deadline, casting is currently underway for the new show and its special episode, which will be written by Wolf and frequent collaborator Rene Balcer, a writer / producer who also worked on Law & Order, and directed by fellow Law & Order contributor Fred Berner. FBI: Most Wanted comes from Dick Wolf's Wolf Films, Universal Television and CBS TV Studios, and Wolf will serve as an executive producer along with Peter Jankowski and Arthur W. Forney.
While Season 1 seems very early to even think of doing a spinoff from a show, we have to keep in mind that this is Dick Wolf that we're talking about here. First off, FBI has already gotten a Season 2 renewal, likely due to the fact that the federal procedural is CBS' number one new series in total viewers and also the number two new series overall this season, with a weekly average of almost 13 million viewers. While those stats are amazing, and any network worth its advertising time would want to get in on a potential franchise created by Dick Wolf, word is that this idea didn't just come up once FBI became a ratings powerhouse.
Apparently, Wolf sold FBI to CBS with the idea that, if successful, it would become the flagship series in a franchise of at least three shows. And, if FBI: Most Wanted does well, there's word that Wolf already has an idea for the third show. Of course, even if you're not a fan of any of the many, mostly long-lasting Law & Order shows that have hit the small screen over the years, you'll probably know that this is what happened with Chicago Fire when it debuted in 2012. A spring episode of that series' first season was used as a backdoor pilot for Chicago P.D., with those two shows and a third spinoff, Chicago Med, going on on have several large and small crossovers every season.
There's sure to be more information coming on FBI: Most Wanted in the next few weeks, so be sure to stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest updates!