EXCLUSIVE: Mark Tinker has been named a non-writing executive producer of the upcoming NBC spinoff Chicago PD. He will be based in Chicago for the Wolf Films/Universal Television series, where he will lend a hand to busy series co-creator/executive producer Matt Olmstead, who under his new pact with Universal TV and Wolf Films is showrunner on Chicago PD while continuing in that role on flagship Chicago Fire — working on both with Chicago Fire creators/exec producers and Chicago PD co-creators/exec producers Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, as well as exec producer Wolf. Peter Jankowski and Danielle Gelber also exec produce Chicago PD, which is slated for midseason.
Law & Order repeats provided the foundation on which TNT built its original programming. Now the cable network is getting in business with Law & Order mastermind Dick Wolf on a crime drama procedural but on the unscripted side. TNT has greenlighted Cold Justice, which follows two top female investigators as they dig into cold murder cases. The network has ordered eight episodes of the project, from Wolf Films and Magical Elves, for summer 2013 premiere. Dick Wolf, Dan Cutforth & Jane Lipsitz and Tom Thayer executive produce.
EXCLUSIVE: Dick Wolf’s Universal TV-based production company is having an active development season under new scripted development executive Danielle Gelber. Last month, NBC bought a firefighter drama from feature writers Michael Brandt and Derek Haas. Now I’ve learned that Wolf Films has set up two more hourlong projects at NBC — one from The L Word creator Ilene Chaiken and one from former Smallville executive producers Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer — that put a twist on two classic franchises, medical and cop dramas. In addition to the writers, each show is executive produced by Wolf, Wolf Films president Peter Jankowski and Gelber. The untitled Chaiken project centers on a lesbian couple who are doctors at an inner-city Philadelphia hospital. The Slavkin/Swimmer project is a high-tech character-driven procedural about investigators who go into the memory banks of murder victims in order to solve the crimes.
Former Showtime executive Danielle Gelber has joined Dick Wolf’s Universal Media Studios-based Wolf Films as an executive producer and EVP. She will work closely with Wolf and Wolf Films president Peter Jankowski on all scripted development for the company. Gelber replaces Nena Rodrigue, who oversaw Wolf Films’ development for the past eight years. There had been a lot of speculation about Gelber’s next gig following her departure from Showtime at the end of last year, with her name mentioned for several network and studio positions over the past few months. Gelber’s new job at Wolf Films reunites her with NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt, who oversees UMS. Gelber had worked under Greenblatt at both Showtime and Fox.
Wolf said that he has been “a huge fan” of Gelber “since she, Bob, and I worked together on New York Undercover on Fox in the mid 1990’s.” “I look forward to her taste, intelligence and knowledge of the writing community energizing our development,” he said. Added Greenblatt, “Having worked closely with her for years at both FBC and Showtime, I don’t have higher esteem for many television executives in this business.”
EXCLUSIVE: WME is the victor in the very lucrative Dick Wolf sweepstakes. After taking a month and a half following his surprising exit from UTA to ponder his top agency options, the Law & Order creator has signed with WME. I hear he made the decision just before Thanksgiving. Wolf has strong personal ties with top TV agents at WME, CAA, and ICM, and that created some intrigue over where he would choose to go after spending 11 years at UTA. But there had been growing speculation over the past couple of weeks that he was headed to WME. Wolf will be represented by head of TV and board member Rick Rosen who is his Santa Barbara neighbor and a good friend.
Last month, a source explained Wolf’s departure from his longtime agency to Deadline’s Nikki Finke as the result of frustration over his inability to launch a successful non-Law & Order branded series as well as the fact that the mothership Law & Order couldn’t clinch a renewal that would have made it the single longest-running drama on television, an honor it now shares with Gunsmoke. Still, after two decades after the launch of his franchise, Wolf remains one of the top earners in television with a very lucrative deal at NBC Universal for his Wolf Films and a truckload of money from domestic and international TV syndication. He has three Law & Order series currently on the air: veteran Law & Order: SVU and …
Alfred Molina has joined Skeet Ulrich on NBC’s upcoming Law & Order spinoff, Law & Order: Los Angeles. He will play Deputy D.A. Morales. ”I am thrilled that Fred is LOLA‘s Deputy D.A.,” creator-executive producer Dick Wolf said. “He joins a remarkable list of some of America’s greatest character actors like Sam Waterson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeff Goldblum, Steven Hill, Dianne Wiest and Michael Moriarity as stars of the Law & Order-branded series.”
Ulrich was previously tapped to play Detective Rex Winters, one of the two detectives at the center of the crime procedural. Production on LOLA is slated to begin on Aug. 2 for a Sept. 22 premiere.
Molina is coming off a Tony-nominated turn on Broadway in Red. On the big screen, he is currently seen in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. LOLA will mark Molina’s first regular series gig since the 2002 sitcom Bram and Alice. Law & Order: Los Angeles is a Wolf Films production in association with Universal Media Studios. Wolf, Rene Balcer, Blake Masters and Peter Jankowski are executive producers.
I hear start of production on NBC’s new Law & Order spinoff Law & Order: Los Angeles has been pushed by a week and a half to give producers from UMS and Wolf Films more time to cast the project. The series, originally scheduled to start filming July 22, will now begin shooting on Aug. 2. So far, only one of the 5 regular roles on the show has been cast: Skeet Ulrich was tapped to play Detective Rex Winters, one of the two detectives at the center of the crime procedural. In addition to Winters’ partner, also open are the roles of a police captain, a prosecutor, and his assistant.