Dick Wolf needs a firefighters' ladder to reach the high hopes he has for Chicago Fire.
"This is a big, full broadcast show with multi-characters and multi-storylines," said Wolf, the legendary producer behind the Law & Order franchise. Wolf's latest project Chicago Fire debuts Wednesday on NBC and Global.
"What we're trying to do here is a very classic, adult, NBC platinum drama," Wolf said. "The platinum dramas, I would hope, would be Law & Order, ER, Hill Street Blues. It's hopefully in the tradition of these shows."
Taylor Kinney and Jesse Spencer lead a vast ensemble cast on Chicago Fire.
"Everybody's saying it's not 'fire of the week.' It's not," Wolf insisted. "It's a character study about people who do things that you can't pay people to do."
Wolf brushed aside comparisons to Denis Leary's recent firefighting show Rescue Me.
"I was an admirer of (Rescue Me)," Wolf said. "But if you watch the (Chicago Fire) pilot, you would agree that nobody is talking to ghosts, that there is a totally different projection of what this show is.
"Nobody would question the fact, 'What, you're doing another cop show?' Fire shows have been unrepresented. First-responders are of continuing interest to me. They are the people that protect you when you sleep."