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JAN
19
11 MOS

'Chicago P.D.' EP Dick Wolf on Franchise Building, Ratings Pressure

Despite a dip in its second outing, the producer for the "Chicago Fire" spinoff says his NBC outings have typically been slow to start.

Chicago P.D. NBC TV Still - H 2014
NBC
"Chicago P.D."

Enjoying solid ratings -- a 2.0 rating with adults 18-49 and 8.6 million viewers -- with its Jan. 8 premiere, Chicago P.D. saw a substantial drop in its second outing.

But executive producer Dick Wolf says the 1.5 adults rating and 5.5 million viewers is nothing to worry about for the Chicago Fire spinoff. The original series saw a similar dip in its second outing, with what he saw as tougher competition, and its a trend that goes back to the days when his Law & Order franchise was not just limited to SVU.

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"The history of all of my shows for NBC is they sort of come in, not immediately strong, but people get into them and they grow," he told reporters at Sunday's Television Critics Association press tour. "I can't attach any negatives to this experience."

Unlike his Law & Order series, Wolf also thinks the room for crossover with Chicago Fire, itself barely two seasons old, will work to its advantage.

"I don't think many shows are comparable with what we're doing here," he said. "We're very fortunate. I did the same thing in New York [with Law & Order]. They were all cop shows and they didn't intermingle as well as Fire and P.D. do. I'm thrilled where we are right now. This is a an amazing group of people to work with."

If there is a ratings model a show would want to follow in today's TV market, that show is Chicago Fire. The 2012 series premiere averaged a so-so 1.9 rating in the key demo, coming nowhere near time slot rivals CSI or the premiere of Nashville. The show grew over its first season, ultimately besting its fellow freshman and frequently topping the CBS standby. 

In its new Tuesday time slot, Chicago Fire has enjoyed a strong sophomore run against ABC's revolving door of drama missteps in the 10 p.m. hour and CBS' shifted Person of Interest.