Season 4 M-Net (*101) 19:30 Action
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.