25 Industry Insiders Who Changed Television

Dick Wolf

Creator and Producer: Law & Order

The twenty year run of Law & Order tied with Gunsmoke for longest running drama in TV history. This would have been enough to cement Wolf's place as a TV hall-of-famer, but with five other shows in the Law & Order franchise and credits on 20 other series, his contribution to the procedural genre is unparalleled.

Police drama isn't exactly a sexy topic of conversation among critics, as the paint-by-numbers formula offers little novelty and only occasional excellence (see Sundance's Top of the Lake). The fact remains, procedurals remain the most watched shows on television, and though a Wolf show no longer owns the top spot, the creative teams behind are indebted to the man.

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