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Dick Wolf Drama ‘F.B.I.’ in the Works at CBS

CBS is turning to “Law & Order” mastermind Dick Wolf as it searches for its next hit crime drama.

The network has given a series production commitment to a new drama with the working title “F.B.I.” about the inner workings of the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Shooting is slated to begin next spring on a pilot, with subsequent episodes set to film in the summer. The series is planned to premiere in the 2018-19 season.

Wolf and Craig Turk will serve as executive producers with longtime Wolf collaborators Arthur W. Forney and Peter Jankowski. Universal Television, where Wolf is based, will produce the series with CBS Television Studios.

CBS is committing to 13 episodes for season one — an uncharacteristic move for the network, which rarely forges ahead on series without shooting a pilot first. The production commitment is tantamount to a straight-to-series order, which means that producers are moving ahead on casting, scripts, and staffing.

The deal for the show marks a rare instance of a studio — in this case NBCUniversal-owned Universal TV — selling to a broadcast network outside its corporate family in an era of increased vertical integration. For Wolf, creator of the “Law & Order” and “Chicago” franchises for NBC, it is a further diversifying of his portfolio, following the serialized drama “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders” on NBC and unscripted projects at Oxygen and A&E.

For CBS, “F.B.I.” is the first series greenlit under CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl and senior executive VP of programming Thom Sherman, who took over as network programming chiefs in May with the departure of former president Glenn Geller.

Wolf is represented by WME and attorney Cliff Gilbert-Lurie.

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