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NBC’s Chicago franchise is losing a longtime member of the team.
Matt Olmstead is set to step down as showrunner of Chicago P.D. at the end of the show’s current season, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
NBC declined to comment. No replacement has been named.
Sources tell THR that Olmstead’s deal with producers Universal Television is up. The split, which is amicable, comes as the Chicago franchise has plenty of other executive producers involved who could easily be considered to take over as showrunner. Olmstead, meanwhile, is expected to draw interest from every studio as he looks to ink a new overall deal that could fetch in the eight-figure range.
Olmstead has been an integral part of the Chicago franchise since it launched in 2012 with Fire, on which he originally served as showrunner. Olmstead, along with exec producer Dick Wolf, then penned the backdoor pilot for Chicago P.D., which aired in 2013, and Olmstead launched the cop-centered spinoff the following January.
For several seasons, he juggled showrunning both shows. However, Chicago Fire creators Michael Brandt and Derek Haas have taken on more of the showrunning duties on the flagship in recent seasons.
Olmstead is also an exec producer on Chicago Med and the recently launched Chicago Justice. Although Chicago P.D. has not yet been renewed for a fifth season, it is expected to be, at which time it would hit its 100th episode. (The other three Chicago series also have not yet been picked up for the 2017-2018 season.)
Olmstead’s impending exit caps off a season of change on Chicago P.D., which has seen the exits of Jon Seda (who moved to Justice) and Brian Geraghty, as well as the addition of several recurring fresh faces.
The Chicago franchise has proven an important part of NBC’s primetime schedule, as it has quickly expanded to four shows in five years.
Wolf Films, which produces the Chicago franchise with Universal Television, recently underwent a major showrunner change last year when longtime SVU boss Warren Leight exited for an overall deal at Sony Pictures Television. Former Law & Order exec producer Rick Eid was tapped to replace him for season 18 of SVU.
Similarly, Wolf has tapped former Law & Order writers as showrunners for his other new series: Chicago Justice, with Michael Chernuchin, and the upcoming Law & Order: True Crime — The Menendez Murders, with Rene Balcer.
Before his work on the Chicago dramas, Olmstead’s credits included Breakout Kings, Prison Break and NYPD Blue.
Olmstead recalled his first meeting with Wolf about Chicago Fire when speaking with THR in 2015. “I always remember because at the end of it, he was saying that his hope is, whenever he meets a writer and is about to go into business with a writer, is that he’s having the same great conversation with them in six years,” he said. “It’s very fanciful because there are so many impediments to that ever happening. I remember thinking we might have a pretty good shot at that happening, and here we are.”
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