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Wolf, NBC Plan New Drama

There’s nothing like a production commitment for a new show to let bygones be bygones.

Dick Wolf, the executive producer of the immensely profitable Law & Order show brand, admitted that he was “incredibly upset” by NBC’s decision to cancel Law & Order: Trial by Jury in May.

But, echoing the words of NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly a day earlier, he told a Television Critics Association panel Monday in Beverly Hills that “this is more than just a standard business relationship” between his company, Wolf Films, and NBC Universal

Wolf now says the brand “is the most important piece of business” to himself and the company. While calling it a “long-term marriage with no possibility of divorce,” Wolf acknowledged that “in every long-term marriage, there may be hills and valleys.”

While there had been talk of taking Trial by Jury to cable, Wolf and NBC chose instead to pursue a show outside the Law & Order brand about young district attorneys in Manhattan.

Wolf says the Trial by Jury sets—the largest he has ever been associated with—will remain standing for at least another year to use for the new show.

“I can assure you that neither of us would make seven-figure bets that we don’t plan on collecting on,” he says.

As for the show itself, Wolf expects production to get under way in the next two and a half months. He says it will be “much more of a character-driven show with closed episodes than a straight procedural.”