Law & Order alumna S. Epatha Merkerson is returning to the Dick Wolf family. Merkerson, who spent 16 years on the mothership L&O series, the most of any cast member on the Wolf-created drama, is set for a lead role on the proposed spinoff in Wolf’s latest procedural franchise, Chicago Fire. Merkerson will star opposite Yaya DaCosta in NBC’s Chicago Med, the ensemble medical drama whose cast will be introduced in Episode 19 of Chicago Fire this season.

Emmy winner Merkerson will play Sharon Goodwin, the head of the hospital where the show is set. Although she doesn’t love the politics that go into running a hospital and doesn’t suffer fools, she is damn good at keeping the doors open.

The Chicago Med episode/planted sponoff is being conceived and written by Chicago Fire creators/executive producers Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, executive producer Matt Olmstead and executive producer Wolf, whose company Wolf Films produces the Chicago Fire/Chicago PD franchise for Universal TV.

Merkerson is repped by ICM Partners and Bob McGowan of McGowan Management.