There's going to be even more Law & Order on the way. The Hollywood Reporter shared in late January that Dick Wolf, the creator of the Law & Order and FBI franchises, is teaming up with Universal Studio Group to bring his shows to international markets. The publication reported that the creator's Wolf Entertainment company will be partnering up with Universal Studio Group for this new endeavor, which paves the way for Law & Order spinoffs in countries around the world.
This division will involve selling Wolf's existing properties as international formats. The joint venture will be headed by Leslie Jones, a veteran executive from NBCUniversal's international sales division. On Wednesday, Wolf released a statement in which he expressed his excitement about both venturing back into the format business and Jones leading the charges. His statement read, "We are getting back into the format business, and I am thrilled that Leslie is back doing what she does best ... selling international formats of our shows. As our company grows and our brands expand, Leslie is the ideal partner to reignite the business."
Jones is no stranger to the format business. THR reported that she was the one who oversaw the first scripted format deals for NBCU. Additionally, she secured the first international format deal for any U.S. procedural, which just so happened to have been for one of Wolf's shows, Law & Order. This deal paved the way for Law & Order: UK, Russian versions of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and the French version of Law & Order: Criminal Intent.
"I am honored and energized to be entrusted with the best written formats in the world and I look forward to working with Universal Studio Group and Wolf Entertainment to maximize the potential of these iconic series," Jones said about this latest format deal. "It will be advantageous for clients to have direct contact with the Wolf team to produce these universally appealing 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 thus saving broadcasters time and money while preserving their localism."
Universal Studio Group is especially excited about this new opportunity. The company's president, Pearlena Igbokwe, stated that they envision this partnership with Wolf Entertainment to be a fruitful one. They stated, "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 significant results."