Everyone is very tight-lipped. But I’ve confirmed that Dick Wolf just lost an arbitration proceeding to NBC Universal over back-end agreements on two of his Law & Order series. This occurred the same week that all three of his shows were picked up.
UPDATE: Sources tell me that Wolf was challenging the back-end cable deal terms for Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: Criminal Intent that were both licensed to USA. “They were totally arm’s length, but since Dick has always browbeaten NBC into giving him everything he could possibly wish for, he tried again,” an insider explained. “It also reflects his total failure in recent years to launch anything successful, despite unlimited resources and access to NBC’s air. NBC is the worst, but in this case they didn’t deserve to lose, so finally justice prevailed.”
My understanding is that this is unrelated to the ongoing contract dispute over Wolf’s executive producer fees for the three dramas that resulted in NBC Uni filing a lawsuit against the L&O producer back in January. Geez, for such a successful TV partnership, these two camps seem to disagree a lot on financial matters. Then again, Hollywood gets cranky when there’s a shitload of $$$ at stake.