When Dick Wolf launched NBC’s “One Chicago” world in 2012 with “Chicago Fire” – a spin-off of the “Law & Order” universe – it was a boys’ club.
Derek Haas, Matt Olmstead and Michael Brandt led “Fire” as showrunner; less than two years later, the “Chicago PD” premiered with Olmstead in mind. The third part of the franchise arrived in 2015 with “Chicago Med,” starring Andrew Dettmann, Andrew Schneider and Diane Frolov. Dettmann left after season 1 and Schneider and Frolov, a married couple, have been together ever since.
Now, women are leading all three shows.
For many years, Frolov was the first female showrunner in the franchise. Although they never met Wolf, when they sat down together, they presented a pilot idea and he arranged a meeting with the network.
“The next day, we got a call from our agent that we thought it would be about the pilot,” he says. “Several, our agent told us Dick would like us to come and run ‘Chicago Med.’ That was seven years ago.”
He didn’t know that the three “Chicago” series for 2022 would feature a woman in the first place, but all three have very different experiences when they get there.
Writer Gwen Sigan began Wolf Wolf’s “climbing the old school stairs” method, starting as an assistant at Olmstead when she ran “PD” and “Fire”.
“He’s one of my favorite writers today, and he’s also kind and was a great tutor – he worked for me on‘ PD ’and just gave me a chance. And I’ve been here ever since, ”says Sigan, who took on the role of Rick Eid’s showrunner at the start of Season 9 of the police process in 2021.“ I’ve never lost sight of how crazy it is to work with so many people. who are good at this. Between Matt and Rick alone, I think I’ve managed to write with the best, but I could also list a dozen other writers from previous groups who are wonderful at writing with our current staff.
“I think Dick Wolf attracts writers who want to write a lot and do their best,” he added. “Starting to write so much with these people is definitely the best part of the job and the reason I’ve been here so long.”
Andrea Newman has also been part of the family for years, but did not enter the lead role until the 1021 season of 2021, and became a co-showrunner with Haas when she shifted her focus to another spin-off, “FBI: International.”
What started out in Wolf Entertainment was a lot like it was: it was a spectator.
“When I went to LA, one of my first meetings was with Dick. I’m still amazed that I got to say a word at that meeting, because I’ve always been a huge fan – ‘Law & Order’ was one of the sessions that pushed me to move from plays to TV, telling stories. he was so masterful, and his characters so believable, ”he says Variety.
The couple met about another project that was never launched. So when the “Chicago Fire” pilot script was picked up a year later and the story was “surprised,” he jumped at the chance to be a part of it.
“These characters came out of the page, and they also had soap, and that’s a cat to me,” Newman says. “I was lucky enough to have a meeting with Derek and Michael Brandt and I ended the session in that first season.”
As the years went by, his working relationship with Haas, who created “Fire”, was strengthened. In fact, Haas jokingly says they have been with showrunning for years, this year he has become an official on paper.
“The downside to working with Derek is that he makes writing easy,” he says. “He loves to do that and he won’t take any harm, and that makes us want to kill him.”
Haas can’t help but think of her as an accomplice: He’s like a five-tool athlete: he effortlessly writes hilarious comedy and then writes sensitive drama, sometimes in the same scene. He is also excellent and takes great care of the show. ”
“One Chicago” was a thought in Wolf’s mind many years before he focused on another franchise: “Law & Order”. That’s where Julie Martin came in.
The couple met in the 80’s while working on “Hill Street Blues” and “St. Elsewhere.” when there was an episode in 2006. In 2006 he took his official job on “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”.
“It’s always felt like a family organization,” Martin said Variety. After two years in Criminal Intent, she joined “SV &” in the 13th season, where she worked on the mother ship “Law & Order” and “Law & Order: LA”, and has since produced more than 200 episodes. The series is directed by Mariska Hargitay. Since then, he has learned that working in the Wolf Entertainment team is about trust.
“I feel valued and appreciated and not a microcontroller,” says Martin. “Our team is putting in and they think they will do the right thing. It’s incredibly collaborative and supportive, and really, for the most part, hands out. “
Even if you don’t want to “receive a phone call” from Wolf himself, it’s because he cares a lot about the story, because he never believes in the team he’s built. Martin laughs, “Dick’s favorite phrase: ‘You’ve got this. Don’t fuck around.’
Martin also wrote in the 20th season of “Law & Order” in 2010, and was just as impressed as the rest of the team when NBC removed the plug, mostly because of its impact.
“There’s no other show on the air that captures the real issues of the day, dramatizing it and turning it around. There’s no way to tell these kinds of stories in a medium other than “Law and Order,” he says, and he warns that from time to time, he still notices stories coming out of a newspaper and thinks.
Last year, NBC announced that the mother ship would return with some of its original actors. It has already been renewed for the 22nd season.
“I’m so glad he came back. I’m glad for Dick. I’m glad the audience saw it. “