Get Ready for 'Law & Order,' the Game
08/18/2003 at 12:00 AM EDT
"Law & Order," already a big franchise on NBC with three different versions, is looking to expand the name even further.
The show's producer, Dick Wolf, 56, is taking a lesson from his advertising background and is hoping to spin the show and its characters into books, DVD collections, computer games and even a magazine, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The police and prosecutor show and its spinoffs ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent") already command more than $1 million per episode in reruns and are aired about 30 hours a week on NBC, TNT and USA Network cable outlets, says the Journal. Last year, the show and its variations averaged about 65 million viewers per week.
So, coming this fall will be the 160-page "'Law & Order' Crime Scenes" coffee-table book, lavishly illustrated with gritty shots from crime scenes on the show, accompanied by detailed explanations of the characters that the TV version cannot offer.
The book will be bound like a police blotter, and Barnes & Noble has upped its print order to 70,000 copies, once it was determined that 45,000 copies would not meet the demand.
Already, Amazon.com has the $30 volume reduced to a pre-publication price of $21 and promises an unspecified shipping date next month.
The Journal also says that Wolf is looking into the possibility of future computer downloads of the show on a pay-per-view basis, though the technology required could be years off. Coming sooner, Wolf promises, is the "Law & Order" magazine, which he describes to the Journal as the "Entertainment Weekly of crime magazines."
And in other TV news, New York's Daily News reports that "The West Wing" creator Aaron Sorkin, 41, who recently vacated his position of executive producer and writer on the White House drama, is considering as a new series for NBC based upon the true-life behind-the-scenes machinations that take place at "Saturday Night Live."
Sorkin's idea is said to be in the early stages.