Can Dick Wolf sustain the whole “ripped from the headlines” thing for the latest in his Chicago series franchise, reporters wondered this afternoon at the TCA Summer Press Tour. “The Ebola story was obvious because it was a matter of great concern,” but what are the other ripped-from-the-headlines medical stories out there, one reporter asked Wolf.
“‘Ripped from headlines’ is a good umbrella for ‘transmission of information’,” Wolf responded. “‘Ripped from the headlines’ may be from medical section.”
He reminded the reporters who, in their defense, have been sitting in TCA panels since last month and maybe not at their sharpest, that medical stories are among the hottest political debates these days. Topics to expect, he suggested, include organ donation, sex education in schools, abortion, etc. “Everything that is touched on our medical or physical lives is fair game for us,” Wolf said, adding, “Ripped from the zeitgeist” might be the more accurate description of the series’ intention.
“The aim here is every week, if you watch the show you get at least one piece of medical information you probably don’t know,” Wolf said.
As the new member of the Chicago trilogy, it too will participate in crossover episodes, but they will be planned so as to not become “commonplace,” Wolf said.
“What Dick is doing is pretty exciting,” cast member Oliver Platt said of the trilogy. “Franchises have spun off shows before but never into an active matrix of these shows. That’s the community I’m excited about.”
As to plans for a fourth Chicago drama, Wolf did not rule it out but suggested it was contingent on Chicago Med launching successfully. Questions about Deadline’s February report that NBC is looking to bring back its longest-running drama series, Wolf’s Law & Order, as a limited series, Wolf said, “everybody wants to do it” but “most people involved are very successful in their careers” and to try to get everything lined up is “much more difficult than it looks.” He added, “I would love to do it if we can make it work.”
When one Chicago Med cast member was asked about directing, Wolf said, “Our actors don’t direct on our own shows,” explaining, “there are many talented people who want to do that.”
Chicago Med, the latest offshoot in Wolf’s Chicago franchise is described as an emotional thrill ride through the day-to-day chaos of the city’s “most explosive hospital.” The spring pickup gave Wolf four drama series on NBC for this coming season: Chicago Fire, spinoff Chicago P.D., and Law & Order: SVU.