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NBC is going back to Chicago.
However, no decision has yet been made on the fourth addition to the Windy City franchise, Chicago Justice, which premiered earlier this year. No decision has also been yet made on prolific producer Dick Wolf’s fifth scripted series at NBC, Law & Order: SVU.
Chicago Fire, the first in the franchise, continues to be the most successful. The firefighter drama is tied with Law & Order: SVU as the second-highest-rated drama on the network (2.5 adults) and pulls in 10.8 million viewers, thanks also to having freshman breakout This Is Us as a lead-in. In addition to Wolf’s multiyear overall deal with Universal TV, creators and showrunners Michael Brandt and Derek Haas also re-upped with the studio last year.
P.D. is one of NBC’s top performers in the demo, averaging a 2.4 rating and 10.1 million viewers despite an early season threat from ABC’s time slot competitor/Kiefer Sutherland vehicle Designated Survivor. NBC’s cop drama has also weathered several changes this season, with the departure of regular Jon Seda and as well as co-creator and longtime showrunner Matt Olmstead, who departed for an overall deal with ABC Studios. (There is no word yet on who will replace Olmstead as showrunner.) On the bright side, season five will see the Universal TV series join Chicago Fire in the 100-episode club.
Med survived a tough move to Thursdays relatively unscaled. The series averages a healthy 2.1 rating and 9.9 million viewers despite a smaller boost from comedies Superstore and The Good Place (and more recently the pulled Powerless) in comparison to former lead-in The Voice. Like its Windy City brethren, the sophomore medical drama also hails in-house from Universal TV and continues Dick Wolf’s scripted drama rein at NBC.
The lack of decision for Justice comes after a slow start (1.6 adults and 8.7 million viewers) for the legal procedural, which premiered in March as part of a one-night, three-show crossover. The legal spinoff, starring Philip Winchester and Carl Weathers, leaned decidedly more procedural than its soapier counterparts like Chicago Fire, reminiscent of Wolf’s first NBC series, Law & Order.
SVU, meanwhile continues to do strong business in its 18th season, and is tied as the second-highest-rated drama on the network with Fire. Unlike the Chicago shows, which have yet to enter the syndication market, SVU continues to perform strongly in reruns. A renewal for season 19 would bring the Mariska Hargitay-led drama that much closer to breaking Gunsmoke‘s 20-season record — a priority for Wolf ever since the flagship was abruptly canceled in 2010 just one season short of achieving that same feat.
“I think that show’s back again for another year, at least,” NBC chief Bob Greenblatt told THR in February about SVU‘s future. “This show just keeps reinventing itself in little ways.”
With the trio of Chicago renewals, Wolf will have at least four scripted dramas on the air for the 2017-18 season, also including the forthcoming Law & Order: True Crime — The Menendez Murders.
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