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This fall, Chicago P.D will return without two important players.
Both star Sophia Bush and showrunner and co-creator Matt Olmstead exited the NBC cop drama after four seasons.
When discussing the show’s future at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, exec producer Dick Wolf was optimistic about how the series will weather the recent changes.
“The show is as good as it has been,” he told reporters after a panel for his new anthology, Law & Order: True Crime.
News of Bush’s exit broke in May shortly after the surprising season finale in which her character, Det. Erin Lindsay, was faced with moving to New York for an undercover assignment with the FBI’s counter-terrorism unit in order to protect her troubled mother, Bunny (Markie Post), who had become embroiled in a murder investigation.
The potential job change also came just as Lindsay’s on-and-off boyfriend, Det. Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer), was thinking about proposing.
Despite those plot points, news of her exit still caught viewers by surprise. Although active on social media, Bush has yet to share publicly why she decided not to return.
“She wanted to leave,” Wolf said when asked about her departure, but did not elaborate on why. Despite her large role on the show, Wolf is confident there won’t be any lasting impact from her absence. “I don’t think it will have any effect at all,” he said.
Bush followed Olmstead out the door. He left for a lucrative overall deal with ABC Studios after not only serving as showrunner on Chicago P.D. for all four seasons, but also serving in the same capacity on Chicago Fire for its first several seasons before creators Derek Haas and Michael Brandt took over on the flagship.
“It was just time,” Wolf said. “Nobody left because they did a bad job, they left because, with Matt, it was just a question of, he’s kind of burned out. Everybody forgot that he was really on point for three shows. It’s very hard.”
Rick Eid, who most recently served as showrunner of Law and Order: SVU, will succeed Olmstead on Chicago P.D.
To fill the void left by Bush, Tracy Spiridakos has been upped to a series regular following her two-episode arc at the end of season four. Additionally, Jon Seda will return full-time to P.D. after moving to since-canceled spinoff Chicago Justice.
Chicago P.D. returns for season five Sept. 27 at 10 p.m.
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