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Dick Wolf’s dominance a sign of networks’ franchise addiction

Jeremy Sisto (left), John Boyd, and Ebonée Noel in "FBI." The CBS series represents the first of nine hours of shows produced by Dick Wolf that will run Tuesday through Thursday nights this fall.Mark Schafer/CBS via AP

Just in case you’re wondering about the state of network TV, here is a telling bit of information. This fall, producer Dick Wolf will own three nights — that’s nine hours — of prime time programming. All bow to the king of TV franchises.

The shows spread across two networks. He will have Tuesdays on CBS, with “FBI,” the new “FBI: International,” and “FBI: Most Wanted.” He will have Wednesdays on NBC, with “Chicago Med,” “Chicago Fire,” and “Chicago P.D.” And he will have Thursdays on NBC, with the new “Law & Order: For the Defense,” “Law & Order: SVU,” and “Law & Order: Organized Crime.”


While streaming and cable channels have the more indie-minded shows, the networks are becoming something like the franchise-addicted movie complexes. Along with the Wolf shows, CBS also has the upcoming “CSI: Vegas,” along with “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” and the upcoming “NCIS: Hawaii” (“NCIS: New Orleans” ends in May). Clearly the networks are going for familiarity and formula, which may — or may not — be a way to survive and thrive.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.