The project, which was discussed at the TCA panel for the three Chicago series, has now been put on fast-track development and officially given a title, Chicago Law.
“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,” NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke said. “The Chicago universe will continue to grow as we are in active development on Chicago Law (working title).”
Spearheaded by Wolf, I hear the new installment is eyed for a potential launch during the 2016-2017 season, likely in midseason, as had been the plan for both previous Chicago spinoffs. (Chicago Med was summoned on the air sooner when NBC had to push medical drama Heartbeat to midseason because of star Melissa George’s pregnancy.) I hear the idea is to have ADA characters appear on Chicago PD this season to plant seeds for the legal offshoot. “You may see, in the same way you saw in the last three years, some people doing legal things that would give an insight into where that could go,” Wolf hinted at TCA last week.
While mothership Chicago Fire was used to introduce both Chicago PD and Chicago Med, Chicago PD is a natural springboard for Chicago Law because of the symbiotic relationship between the law enforcement and justice systems as explored by Wolf in his signature NBC crime drama series Law & Order.
Moving ahead with Chicago Law is a vote of confidence after NBC brass were impressed by how Wolf and his team got Chicago Med off the ground under very difficult circumstances. The series had to be fleshed out after introducing just a few characters on Chicago Fire last spring. It faced a significant cast expansion, a recasting and a showrunner change late in the game while asked to accelerate production and premiere months ahead of schedule. Chicago Med is now poised for a renewal, joining Chicago Fire and Chicago PD, both already picked up for next season.
“Would I like to do it?” Wolf said of a third Chicago spinoff last week. “Of course. I mean, you talk about your dreams being fulfilled. This is literally a dream come true. To have these three shows operating this synergistically is beyond my expectations. My instinct is always to double down.”