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The Hardy Boys and other crime procedurals; he got his start in TV writing for Hill Street Blues.
Dick Wolf grew up reading
Dick Wolf grew up reading The Hardy Boys and other crime procedurals; he got his start in TV writing for Hill Street Blues. Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
Dick Wolf once worked in advertising — shades of AMC's Mad Men — but he's best known as the creator of Law & Order, the longest running drama on network television.
This week, NBC moved the decorated crime procedural back to Wednesdays, after the 19th season opened to a poor showing on Friday nights, which is known for its low prime-time viewership.
The original, which premiered in 1990, has inspired more than one spinoff series: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. And in 2003, Wolf published a large-format book of photos and essays, Law & Order: Crime Scenes.
Terry Gross talked to Wolf when the book was published about what he learned writing for advertising campaigns, how the Law & Order team chooses everything from the extras who play the show's dead bodies to the stories dramatized week after week, and the oddest thing he's ever seen at a real crime scene.
This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 22, 2003.