10:51am PT by Kate Stanhope
NBC Orders Five More Episodes of 'Chicago Med'
NBC is continuing its stay at Chicago Med.
The network has ordered five more episodes of the Chicago Fire spinoff, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The announcement brings the freshman drama's first season to 18 episodes.
NBC's decision is no surprise given the series' solid ratings thus far, as well as the continued performance of sister series Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D., which both received early renewals for next season.
Chicago Med came out of the gate strong for NBC, premiering to a 2.2 rating among adults 18-49 and 8.6 million viewers on Nov. 17. The most recent new episode on Dec. 8 drew a 2.1 rating. The series is also bracing for its first three-way crossover with Fire and P.D. in the first week of January.
The order for five additional episodes instead of the standard back-nine order may be attributed to several factors.
In addition to Chicago Med's later fall launch, NBC also has several yet-to-be-scheduled midseason series including another new hospital drama, Heartbreaker starring Melissa George. Heartbreaker was originally supposed to premiere in fall with Chicago Med set for a midseason debut, but the two switched places to accommodate George's pregnancy.
Chicago Med is one of four scripted series on NBC from producer Dick Wolf, also including long-running procedural Law & Order: SVU. In September, the network also ordered an unscripted series from Wolf, Law & Order: You the Jury. Wolf executive produces Med with Matt Olmstead, Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Danielle Gelber, Arthur Forney and Peter Jankowski as well as showrunners Andrew Schneider and Diane Frolov.
The duo came onboard the series in late August following the departure of original showrunner Andrew Dettmann (CSI).
The series, which hails from Universal Television and Wolf Films, stars Nick Gehlfuss, Yaya DaCosta, Torrey DeVitto, Rachel DiPillo, Colin Donnell, Brian Tee, S. Epatha Merkerson and Oliver Platt.
For NBC, Chicago Med's order comes after the network already picked up a full season of hit Blindspot and gave the newcomer an early season two renewal. However, other rookie series like Truth Be Told and The Player did not fare so well. Both went off the air quietly after seeing their original episode orders trimmed.
Chicago Med airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.