Dick Wolf, which already has three major television franchises on two of the four major broadcast networks, is going international.
The prolific creator behind the Law and Order, Chicago and FBI franchises and its Wolf Entertainment banner are partnering with Universal Studio Group to create a new sales division focused on selling its popular procedurals in international formats.
Leslie Jones, a seasoned executive in NBCUniversal’s international sales division, was brought in to oversee the sales boutique. The division is a joint venture between Wolf Entertainment and Universal Studio Group, where the mega-producer has been based with a rich overall contract for decades.
“We’re getting back into the formats business, and I’m thrilled to have Leslie back doing what she does best…selling international formats of our shows,” Wolf said in a statement Wednesday. “As our business grows and our brands expand, Leslie is the perfect partner to jump-start the business.”
Jones secured the first scripted format deals for NBCU and the first international format deal for any US procedural for Wolf’s original. Law and order, resulting in Law and order: United Kingdom and Russian versions of Law and Order: SVU and Law & Order: criminal intent as well as a French version of Criminal intent.
During her career, she also oversaw the sales of global formats of unscripted shows, game shows, documentaries, Olympics and NBCU late night shows. She recently founded a consulting firm that provides management and strategy advice to companies ranging from international distributors and overseas broadcasters to independent production companies and US broadcasters.
“I am honored and energized to be entrusted with the best written formats in the world and look forward to working with Universal Studio Group and Wolf Entertainment to maximize the potential of these iconic series,” Jones said. “Customers will benefit from having direct contact with the team at Wolf to produce these universally engaging shows with world-class writing and production values and we look forward to working with our partners to culturally adapt these treasures. Scripted formats offer a shorter development process, saving broadcasters time and money while maintaining localism. »
The international format expansion comes on top of two different nine-figure pacts Wolf recently struck with NBCUniversal that covered the streaming rights to a number of his shows for Peacock as well as a renewal of his overall contract. for a long time. The international sales unit will further monetize the intellectual property that has led to numerous spinoffs across NBC and CBS’ three franchises, all of which are owned or co-owned by Universal Television and Universal Studio Group’s Wolf Entertainment.
“While the majority of Universal Studio Group content will continue to be sold through the NBCUniversal Formats team, we believe this targeted approach to our Wolf product will yield meaningful results,” said Pearlena Igbokwe, President of Universal Studio. Group.
Wolf’s current scripted slate includes season 23 of L&O: SVU, L&O: organized crime (in its second season), the upcoming return (billed as the 21st season) of the flagship L&O, chicago fire (season 10), Chicago PD (new season), Chicago Mediterranean (season seven), CBS’ FBI (season 4), FBI: Most Wanted (season three) and rookie FBI: international. He also has a scripted show in the works for IMDb TV.