Wolf Prepared For 'CSI: New York' CompetitionBy Kristine
July 13, 2004 - 9:06 PM
Dick Wolf, creator of Law & Order and its three spinoffs, is keeping one eye on the Law & Order and CSI: New York Wednesday night face-off even as he launches the fourth Law & Order show, Law & Order: Trial by Jury.
Wolf told Zap2It that he's more than aware of the pressure competition with CSI: New York puts on the original Law & Order. "Yes, absolutely," he said. "I mean, I'd be retarded if I didn't know that [CSI: New York is a sizeable threat to Law & Order]." Law & Order and its spinoffs have faced slightly diminshed ratings this season, while both CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and its spinoff, CSI: Miami, regularly place in the top ten. CSI was the number one drama of the 2003-2004 television season.
Wolf is adamant about the differences between the CSI shows and the Law & Order ones, claiming CSI is a franchise, while Law & Order is a brand. He compares the CSI shows to a chain of restaurants: "CSI is a franchise. It's like the Palm restaurant. If you go to Los Angeles, if you go to Chicago, you get a great steak. The only thing that changes are the caricatures on the wall," he said.
On the other hand, he maintained that the Law & Order shows are quite different fron one another. "Law & Order is a brand. Hopefully it's the Mercedes-Benz of television shows," he said. "Each of the shows are distinctly different. They have distinctly different attitudes. The way you can tell it's a brand is the Goldberg variation of Mike Post's theme and the 'ching-ching,' which is really the only similarity between all four shows."
The original Law & Order will see some changes at the beginning of the next season, when Jerry Orbach departs for the new spinoff, Trial by Jury and Dennis Farina assumes his place. Elisabeth Rohm will also depart the show this season.
Ultimately, Wolf is open to the competition from CSI: New York. "I am a great believer in the more good shows on, the better it is for all of us," he commented.
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