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In the three years since Chicago Fire debuted on NBC in 2012, the ratings powerhouse is about to launch its second spinoff this fall and has resulted in countless crossovers.
So now the question is: What kind of spinoff comes next?
“There would never be a fourth unless this works,” Chicago Med executive producer Dick Wolf said. “If this works, who knows what is possible in the future? The concern of everybody now is to make this show have the same impact that Fire and P.D. have had.”
Wolf is no stranger to building TV franchises. Before the Chicago trilogy launched with Fire in 2012, he created the seminal series Law & Order, which spun off four different series (SVU, Criminal Intent, Trial By Jury and Los Angeles).
Unlike the original Law & Order shows, which only occasionally hosted crossover episodes, Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. have been known to feature characters from their sister series on nearly a weekly basis, even including multi-episode arcs and romances between characters like Fire‘s Severide (Taylor Kinney) and P.D.’s Lindsay (Sophia Bush).
Chicago Med star Oliver Platt praised the “remarkable” sense of community among the Chicago series. “Franchises have spun off shows before but never into an active matrix if you will of these shows that are being aired,” said Platt. “That’s the community that I’m excited about.”
Additionally, both Chicago shows crossed over with Law & Order: SVU twice last season — both to heightened ratings success — in November and in April. Wolf revealed that there are three planned crossovers between the various series for this coming season, including a “jumbo” crossover featuring all three Chicago series and Law & Order: SVU shows in February. “The crossovers are incredible ratings engines for us,” said Wolf. “What we can’t do is have them become commonplace.”
It will be an especially interesting four-way crossover for Chicago Med star S. Epatha Merkerson, who starred on the original Law & Order for 17 seasons. “It was a no-brainer for me,” said Merkerson. “I love working with Dick. I love the productions that we’ve done together.”
Wolf also fielded questions about the rumored revival of Law & Order, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary next month. “Nobody knows what the future holds, including what’s happening on Law & Order. As you’ve heard, everybody wants to do it,” said Wolf. “Most of the people involved are very successful in their careers and to try to get everything in sequence is much more difficult than it looks on the outside. I am always an optimist. I would love to do it. I think I speak for the network; they would love to do it. If we can make it work.”
Chicago Med premieres Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 10 p.m. on NBC.
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