After Night Court And La Brea Renewals, NBC Exec Addresses The Future Of Dick Wolf's One Chicago And Law And Order Shows
The new year is off to a strong start for some notable NBC series, with Night Court and La Brea recently joining Quantum Leap as shows guaranteed to return for the 2023-2024 TV season. At the same time, this is the first TV season in years without a guarantee that Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Chicago Med, and Law & Order: SVU will be back, with Law & Order: Organized Crime and Law & Order in the same situation. Now, one NBC executive has addressed the future of these six shows under the Dick Wolf banner.
Back in early 2020, before the production shutdowns that affected TV shows large and small, NBC renewed the One Chicago shows and SVU for a whopping three more seasons, but those three seasons will be up by the time the shows hit their finales in the spring. NBCUniversal TV and streaming chairman of entertainment content Susan Rovner weighed in on the situation to THR. When asked if she expected all six of the Wolf shows to return, she said:
There’s a lot of life and all things stick well. And I’m sure good news will come soon.
While that's not a hard "yes" or "no" for fans to know whether or not they should worry about their favorites, a suggestion of "good news" is better than nothing! NBC heavily promotes all six shows, and even grouped them together to be able to air One Chicago Wednesdays and Law & Order Thursdays. Although several of the long-running shows lost major cast members – including but not limited to Kelli Giddish from SVU and Jesse Lee Soffer from Chicago P.D. – I don't see any of them ending due to a network decision. Sure, CBS' NCIS: LA got a surprise Season 14 cancellation, but that's another franchise on another network without Dick Wolf as an executive producer.
Susan Rovner didn't elaborate on when the official news will release about the future for One Chicago and the Law & Orders, but did shed a little more light on why an early renewal for those shows would be more complicated than for other series. The executive explained why freshman show Quantum Leap was the first of the 2022-2023 NBC lineup to be renewed, saying:
That’s because we can stay in continuous production right now ahead of a possible writers strike. That’s also a shorter order. Dick Wolf does 22-episode shows, so there isn’t the same continuous production opportunity there.
Quantum Leap was enough of a hit early on that NBC bumped up the original order for 12 episodes to 18, but even 18 episodes is still a shorter length than the six Wolf shows. Plus, as Rovner noted, a possible writers strike is on the horizon, with the Writers Guild contract expiring in early May. That itself could be followed by strikes from the Directors Guild and Screen Actors Guild after those contracts are up in June.
Certain shows will be able to just keep filming after the ends of their current seasons without a break before starting the next so that NBC would still have some content ready if a strike does happen. Susan Rovner weighed in on the situation, and her hopes:
We are trying to stay in continuous production where we can so that we have more flexibility. Obviously, we’re doing it on shows we believe in — Night Court, Quantum Leap and LaBrea. But let’s hope there’s not a writer’s strike, though.
Only time will tell whether a writers strike does happen in a matter of months, but NBC planning ahead has meant good news for Night Court, La Brea, and Quantum Leap. Night Court was admittedly enough of a hit out of the gate that a renewal was probably going to happen anyway, and Quantum Leap was a standout of network television back in fall premiere season. Based on some reports about La Brea, however, that show may have actually been saved from cancellation because it could start production on a new season quickly.
For now, fans of the six Dick Wolf shows can just keep tuning in on Wednesday and Thursday nights to see what's up in One Chicago and the Law & Orders, as there's no saying when there will be an announcement about the good news that NBC exec Susan Rovner hinted. You can also find the shows streaming with a Peacock subscription, and some more viewing options on our 2023 TV premiere schedule.