One of the Best Salesmen in the History of TV

They say that a good salesman believes in everything he sells…and everything he says. Welcome to Dick Wolf’s world:

Dick Wolf Calls ‘Chicago Fire’ a ‘Classic’ NBC Drama, by Philiana Ng

Firefighting takes a front seat in NBC’s fall drama ‘Chicago Fire,’ but it was all about Dick Wolf at the Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour.

“What we’re trying to do here is a classic, adult, NBC platinum drama,” the executive producer told a roomful of reporters on Tuesday morning, later referencing his own ‘Law & Order’ franchise, ‘ER’ and ‘Hill Street Blues.’

Wolf, who has seen huge success with ‘Law & Order’…, is a believer that showcasing firefighters will be a recipe for success.

“Let’s put it this way, there are very few franchises or very few areas that give you the opportunity to really explore character,” he said, touting that the show is “a character study of people” who are paid to do what people don’t normally do.

There will also be a big change in the pilot, which originally did not feature the pivotal moment that served as a catalyst that moves forward the ‘Chicago Fire’ story.

“If you look at the pilot, [it] is getting a new teaser,” Wolf revealed. “The teaser is going to show Darden’s death. What that means, is subsequently [everything that happens afterwards] has been set up in the teaser.”

On the surface, it seems NBC is banking on ‘Chicago Fire’ to become a solid performer. (It will follow another Wolf property, ‘Law & Order: SVU,’ on Wednesdays.) NBC president of entertainment Jennifer Salke waxed poetic about the hourlong that stars Jesse Spencer and Taylor Kinney, assuring reporters “it’s not about the procedural” or “the fire of the week” and saying they have been “riveted in the first episodes.” So it was appropriate when Wolf asked whether he is already thinking about spinoff possibilities.

“No,” he replied. “I just want to get this one a back-nine [order] and hopefully settle in for a nice long run. Especially the first year of a show like this, you’re … thinking about survival.”

Read it all

We think this article is a fascinating read because:

  1. It demonstrates a key fact for TV/film writers: You have to be a salesman (yeppers, DW is a writer)
  2. It demonstrates that, like good writers, good salesmen have to exhibit great courage (see how he cops to having screwed up the pilot by emphasizing the fix so positively – this isn’t merely spin, it’s guts)

CHICAGO FIRE premieres October 10th. Gonna watch?