Chicago Fire

Sea­son 4 M-Net (*101) 19:30 Ac­tion

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Fire­fighter-show Chicago Fire (2012-cur­rent) has taken TV by storm and to date it’s spawned three spin-offs that are all do­ing well – SA view­ers al­ready know about Chicago PD (2014-cur­rent) and Chicago Med (2015-cur­rent). And next month M-Net will wel­come the fourth show in the fran­chise: Chicago Jus­tice (2017-cur­rent). And while Chicago isn’t what you’d call the most fa­mous US city, on TV it makes for awe­some view­ing.

“There has been this ter­rific growth spurt in fran­chise shows,” says Chicago-fran­chise boss Dick Wolf. “Our se­ries are bring­ing in the num­bers and we’re very proud of what we’ve achieved. View­ers are bond­ing with our char­ac­ters and the sit­u­a­tions they find them­selves in.” And while the four shows fol­low the lives of civil ser­vants, like fire-fighters, doc­tors, paramedics and State At­tor­ney lawyers, they have a com­mon fac­tor: a bar called Molly’s. Ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Danielle Gel­ber adds that “we’ve tried to weave the char­ac­ters’ emo­tional lives and their re­la­tion­ships into their daily work. Their work comes first but their lives out­side have an im­pact and that is what brings back au­di­ences week af­ter week”.

There’s also a sim­ple three-point plan the showrun­ners fol­low when com­ing up with new shows…

1 Noth­ing is out of bounds Hook-ups, break-ups, jeal­ousy and black­mail, there’s noth­ing too dra­matic when it comes to the char­ac­ters’ per­sonal lives.

2 Lis­ten to the fans The pro­duc­tion team has a ded­i­cated staffer keep­ing tabs on so­cial me­dia to see what the view­ers like and don’t like.

3 Plan ahead Not just for sea­sons, but for spin-offs too. Dick Wolf re­veals that there are “al­ready con­crete plans for a fifth spin-off if Chicago Jus­tice is as suc­cess­ful as the other three”.

The Chicago Fire cast started the suc­cess­ful fran­chise.

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