|Never one to keep his feelings to himself, producer Dick Wolf (the "Law & Order" franchise) is excited about his new project for ABC, an updated version of the police drama classic "Dragnet." The fact that its first few weeks will be spent battling it out against NBC's much-hyped drug cartel saga "Kingpin" doesn't faze him one bit either. |
"I think the wonderful thing about the American public is they'll make a very clear choice whether they want to watch Ed [O'Neill] playing the most iconic cop in history of American television or a warm family drama about the drug dealers killing your children," Wolf says.
For a brief 24-hour period, "Dragnet" was set to air at 9 p.m. ET on Mondays, which would have put it opposite FOX's new hit "Joe Millionaire." However, unlike some show creators who are banging the drum of reality programming being the death of scripted programs, Wolf is more philosophical about such things. He feels it's wiser to let audiences decide what they want to watch, rather than prescribe entertainment that he feels is good for them.
"Reality shows are cheap. They are effective. They don't repeat. There are pros and cons. If I was a network scheduler, I'd see what the traffic would bear," Wolf says. "The idea of [a programmer's] job of trying to fill 22 hours and not using your own taste is overwhelming. You cannot schedule a network to what you want to watch on television, or most people wouldn't be watching most of the week."
While Wolf's projects don't veer away from being at times graphic in the name of being realistic, the producer doesn't feel a need to embrace grittiness for the sake of being considered cutting edge.
"I wouldn't make 'The Shield.' The reality is 99.4 percent of all cops are exactly the cops that you would hope to be. They're not doing it for the money. They're doing it because they want to help people and serve and protect. The bulk of them are really nice guys; they're doing a real nice job. The only time you hear about cops is when a very small minority of them do something wrong."