Dick Wolf is opening up about the possibility of Benson and Stabler getting together.
While speaking about his new TV empire, which includes the One Chicago and FBI series, the superstar producer also addressed whether Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni’s characters will be getting together as a couple, however, his words indicate it may not happen for a while.
Dick Wolf on his TV empire
It’s hard to argue with the incredible success Dick Wolf has had in television.
In 1990, he managed to get Law & Order onto NBC. After a slow start, the series was soon one of the biggest hits on TV and won a Best Drama Series Emmy in 1997.
It also began a franchise of six spin-offs, including Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Organized Crime.
Wolf’s power now extends to the One Chicago shows on NBC and the trio of FBI series on CBS Tuesdays. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Wolf related how even he’s amazed at how each franchise dominates TV so much.
“It’s a very rare thing. These three show stacks are basically a subsidiary of normal programming. It’s not what’s ever existed before. There weren’t shows this closely [related] before that you could do it with.”
While he says that having these shows run back-to-back each night is good to mimic the binge-watching experience, it’s another factor that brings people back.
“It’s always the writing. There are a lot of really great actors out there but they don’t make up the words, and the words are what people are initially attracted to. And it’s what keeps them around for long, long periods of time.”
Wolf’s words come just afterword has broken that NBC will revive the original Law & Order mothership series for a 21st season. Naturally, Wolf is eager to see that return.
“Law & Order was a six-person ensemble and over the 20 years, there were 29 actors on the show. So, I’ve always seen change as an opportunity.”
Wolf on Benson and Stabler’s romance
The conversation turned to whether or not Benson and Stabler could be getting together this season. After the death of Stabler’s wife, Kathy, the detective has grown closer to his former partner.
Recent episodes of Law & Order: Organized Crime have other characters noting Stabler has a love for Olivia. The latest episode revealed the contents of a letter Stabler dictated to Kathy where he thought he and Benson got in each other’s way of happiness but “in a parallel world, it would always be you and me.”
Addressing that, Wolf stated he’s aware of the partners’ feelings but believes it’s best not to rush the storyline.
“I don’t anticipate them running off and living together as much as the audience would like that. Anticipation is the most exciting part of most relationships… the chase is always better. The shows are good and having them onscreen together I think is enough. I don’t think you have to push it to the next level. At least not this year. I mean, as I said, you never know what the future holds.”
Wolf’s words mimic showrunner Ilene Chaiken, Mariska Hargitay, and Christopher Meloni on how the “slow build” seems a better approach.
Given how divisive fan reaction can be on Benson and Stabler as a couple, Wolf is smartly hedging his bets, although the fact he thinks it’s possible the romance happens offers hope for Benson-Stabler shippers.
Law & Order Special Victims Unit Season 23 and Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 2 air Thursdays on NBC.