Chicago Law is now officially in development at NBC after Dick Wolf hinted at the possibility of the fourth series in the Chicago franchise last week at the Winter TCA’s.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC’s president of entertainment Jennifer Salke said the following about Chicago Law in a statement:
“Dick Wolf has been responsible for some of the biggest hits in NBC history, including SVU and the current three Chicago dramas, Fire, P.D. and Med. The Chicago universe will continue to grow as we are in active development on Chicago Law (working title).”
Is adding a fourth series to the franchise too much though? Will the storytelling for all four series stay at the same high caliber seen on Chicago Fire since its first season?
As a fan of the Chicago franchise, this writer is wondering if NBC is making a mistake by adding on Chicago Law. The ratings for all three current Chicago series are high. There is no denying that viewers tune in to find out what will happen on all three shows from week to week.
Chicago Med premiered in November, and it is averaging 8.5 million viewers an episode. Out of three series in the Chicago franchise, it is the one on top at the moment. For some, it is bringing back the feel of E.R. to NBC. That series also focused on the action at a Chicago hospital with a focus on the emergency room.
NBC and Dick Wolf decided to take a leap and a chance with Chicago Law after Chicago PD introduced a legal element to a recent episode. That episode was part of a crossover that involved all three Chicago series, but the crossover could have easily involved just two of the series. The crossover began with Herrmann, a fire fighter on Chicago Fire being stabbed. He was rushed to the hospital, and that is where Chicago Med came in.
That connection worked. However, there was a secondary story brought in on Chicago Med that focused on a doctor killing his patients. There was a small connection to Chicago Fire because Firehouse 51 found the first victim of the doctor at the scene of a fire. Did it feel like writers forced the connection between Chicago Med and Chicago PD?
To this writer, yes. That made the episode of Chicago PD feel like the weakest of three series in this crossover event. That brings us back to the new series now in development – Chicago Law.
Will the storytelling stay strong? Will the reasons for the overlapping feel forced or continue to feel organic like they have between Chicago Fire and Chicago PD the last few seasons?
There is no denying that Dick Wolf has created something special with the Chicago franchise, but one does have to wonder if the old adage of “you can have too much of a good thing” will end up applying here at some point.
Are you a fan of Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, and Chicago PD? Are you planning to watch Chicago Law once it arrives? Is NBC stretching the franchise too thin with a fourth series? Tell us what you think.