Dick Wolf

Writer/ Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour interview, Dick Wolf talks about his parents, who worked at NBC publicity in the 1950's, and the fact that, as a child, he was often in the Peanut Gallery of The Howdy Doody Show. Wolf also speaks extensively about his early career in advertising and his original ad campaigns and slogans. He then chronicles his transition into writing, starting with a feature film and then progressing into writing and producing the NBC series Hill Street Blues. Wolf speaks at length about working on Hill Street Blues; about writing in general; about Grant Tinker and the production company MTM Enterprises as well as his MTM colleagues Steven Bochco, Tom Fontana and David Milch. He also details his rationale for segueing into writing and producing Miami Vice. Michael Rosen conducted the interview (in two sessions) at his Universal Studios-based office in Los Angeles, CA on March 25 and April 21, 2003.

"This is a business of very strange left turns and incredible timing. The difference between total success and total failure in Hollywood is a knife's edge."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Dick Wolf on how he got into television writing
Dick Wolf on the role of a producer
Producer Dick Wolf on being in the "Peanut Gallery" of The Howdy Doody Show when he was a child
Dick Wolf on reading the newspapers every day
Dick Wolf on the original concept of Law & Order
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years, education, and occasionally being in the "Peanut Gallery" at The Howdy Doody Show
On his early career in advertising

Chapter 2

On his first job in television as a writer for Hill Street Blues; the premise of the show; its cast; its legacy

Chapter 3

On producing Miami Vice
On producing Gideon Oliver and Christine Cromwell
On creating a show and the difficulties of even established producers 

Chapter 4

On the development and production of Law & Order

Chapter 5

On producing Law & Order

Chapter 6

On the role of a producer
On producing Mann and Machine. The Human Factor, and Crime & Punishment
On producing New York Undercover, Swift Justice, and Feds
On creating and producing Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
On the appeal of police and medical dramas

Chapter 7

On Twin Towers, Deadline, Arrest and Trial, Crime and Punishment
On producing Law & Order: Criminal Intent
On producing the 2003-2004 series Dragnet
On his working process with multiple shows on the air; then-current projects; his mentors; and how he'd like to be remembered
Photo: the pilot Law & Order script with the production note Dick Wolf read from during the interview
Shows

Arrest and Trial

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Dick Wolf on producing Arrest and Trial, his first syndicated show

Christine Cromwell

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Dick Wolf on producing Christine Cromwell

Crime & Punishment

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Dick Wolf on producing Crime & Punishment
Dick Wolf on producing his second Crime and Punishment series

Deadline

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Dick Wolf on producing Deadline

Dragnet

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Dick Wolf on producing the 2003-2004 series Dragnet

Feds

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Dick Wolf on Feds, which was the first series filmed in letterbox

Gideon Oliver

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Dick Wolf on creating and producing Gideon Oliver

Hill Street Blues

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Dick Wolf details his first job in television as a writer on Hill Street Blues

Howdy Doody

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Producer Dick Wolf on being in the "Peanut Gallery" of The Howdy Doody Show when he was a child

Human Factor, The

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Dick Wolf on producing The Human Factor

Law & Order

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Dick Wolf on the pilot process and the development of Law & Order and Nasty Boys
Dick Wolf on the original concept of Law & Order
Dick Wolf on filming Law & Order in New York and producing it in Los Angeles
Dick Wolf on producing Law & Order

Law & Order: Criminal Intent

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Dick Wolf on Law & Order: Criminal Intent and its parallels to Sherlock Holmes

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

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Dick Wolf on creating and producing Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Mann & Machine

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Dick Wolf on producing Mann & Machine

Miami Vice

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Dick Wolf on producing Miami Vice

New York Undercover

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Dick Wolf on producing New York Undercover  and the salary dispute he had with actors

Players

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Dick Wolf on producing Players

Swift Justice

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Dick Wolf on producing Swift Justice
Topics

9/11

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Dick Wolf on how Law & Order  production was affected by 9/11 and the criticism he received about an episode which focused on a 9/11 fraud case
Dick Wolf on the feature documentary Twin Towers

George W. Bush

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Dick Wolf on being a classmate of George W. Bush at Andover
Professions

Producers

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Dick Wolf on the role of a producer

Show Creators

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Dick Wolf on creating a show
Genres

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

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Dick Wolf on the appeal of police and medical dramas

Legal Dramas

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Dick Wolf on not making legal mistakes on his shows

Medical Dramas

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Dick Wolf on producing The Human Factor

Sci-Fi/Supernatural Series

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Dick Wolf on producing Mann and Machine
People

Marcy Carsey

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Dick Wolf on creating a show

Vincent D'Onofrio

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Dick Wolf on Law & Order: Criminal Intent and its parallels to Sherlock Holmes

Eriq La Salle

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Dick Wolf on producing The Human Factor

All Interviews

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