Wolf skein on fast track at Peacock

Net greenlights 13 segs of 'Conviction'

Dick Wolf has landed another series on NBC, with the Peacock greenlighting production on a Wolf-created skein set in the world of young assistant district attorneys.

Peacock has ordered 13 episodes of what’s being tentatively titled “Conviction.” Production is expected to begin in Gotham as early as next month, with the show slated to bow later this season.

Insiders familiar with the pilot script said Wolf is planning to depart somewhat from the formula that’s made his “Law & Order” brand a billion-dollar plus success.

While the bulk of each episode will still revolve around a self-contained plot, secondary plotlines are expected to arc, sometimes over multiple episodes. Episodes will thus retain the repeatability factor key to syndie success, while broadening the amount of character development writers will be able to work into the show. Fox’s “House” has found success with a similar formula.

Pilot for “Conviction” was penned by Walon Green and Rick Eid, who will join Wolf and Peter Jankowski as exec producers of the series.

“Conviction” will use many of the same sets seen on last season’s “Law & Order: Trial by Jury.” After NBC’s decision to end “TBJ,” Wolf asked the net to hold on to the sets in anticipation of using them for the show that would become “Conviction.”

Over the summer, NBC entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly agreed and put the pilot for “Conviction” on the fast track (Daily Variety, July 25). After seeing the pilot script, Peacock decided to go straight to series.

“I’m pleased and gratified that the gamble that was taken to hold the ‘Trial by Jury’ sets in place has paid off,” Wolf said.

Reilly described “Conviction” as “a high-octane rush.”

As of right now, NBC isn’t placing the new show under the “Law & Order” brand.

However, given the net’s need for new hit dramas, it might ultimately make sense for the Peacock to give the skein the promo boost of the “L&O” brand. Wolf’s skeins continue to be strong performers during a tough time for the Peacock, with “L&O: SVU” in particular soaring this season on Tuesdays.

Peacock has also turned to Wolf for some Friday night backup in the form of “L&O: Criminal Intent.” Repeat of that skein is set to air this Friday at 10, where it hopes to improve on the disastrous numbers for regular timeslot occupant “Inconceivable.”

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