NBC's 'Chicago Fire' Gets Full Season Pick-Up

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

Written By

November 8th, 2012

On the heels of last night's ratings boost courtesy of The Voice, NBC has given the back nine order for Chicago Fire for a full season of 22 episodes. While some knuckleheads will spin this as a renewal, it's not. But it is a full season pick-up which is good news for fans.

Here's the press release:



UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – November 8, 2012 – NBC has picked up its new freshman drama “Chicago Fire” with a production commitment for the remainder of the 2012-13 season, it was announced today by Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment.

“We all love this thrilling new drama with its sexy breakout cast. We are excited to see it gaining traction on our schedule,” said Salke. “Executive producer Dick Wolf and all the producers have done an amazing job developing a high-stakes series with lots of great heroic characters whose exploits are depicted in Dick’s typically epic storytelling style. We are incredibly invested in this one and can’t wait to hear about their plans for the rest of the season.”

"Chicago Fire" is averaging a 2.4 rating, 7 share in adults 18-49 and 8.0 million viewers overall in "most current" averages from Nielsen Media Research through the season's first six weeks. In "live plus same day" results for the current week, "Chicago Fire" generated new series highs in adults 18-49 and total viewers, making it the first new drama on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox this season to top its premiere results with any subsequent telecast.

From renowned, Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf ("Law & Order" brand) and creators Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, the writing team behind "3:10 to Yuma," comes the high-octane drama "Chicago Fire" -- an edge-of-your-seat view into the lives of everyday heroes committed to one of America’s noblest professions. For the firefighters, rescue squad and paramedics of Chicago Firehouse 51, no occupation is more stressful or dangerous, yet so rewarding and exhilarating. These courageous men and women are among the elite who forge headfirst into danger when everyone else is running the other way.

The pressure to perform on such a high level has a way of taking a personal toll, sometimes putting team members from the Truck and the specially-trained Rescue Squad at odds with each other. Lt. Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer, "House"), in charge of the Truck, butts heads with the brash Lt. Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney, "The Vampire Diaries") of the Rescue Squad.

The firehouse also includes: Battalion Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker, "Oz"); paramedics Gabriela Dawson (Monica Raymund, "The Good Wife") and Leslie Shay (Lauren German, "Hawaii Five-O"); Peter Mills (Charlie Barnett, "Law & Order: SVU"), an academy graduate who is the latest generation in a family of firefighters; and Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg, "Sex and the City"), a seasoned veteran who must uproot his family to move in with his in-laws.

In addition to Wolf, Haas and Brandt, executive producers also include Matt Olmstead ("Breakout Kings"), Joe Chappelle ("The Wire"), Danielle Gelber and Peter Jankowski ("Law & Order" brand). "Chicago Fire" is produced by Universal Television and Wolf Films.

  • Dan

    @Justin121 – The decision is usually made by November or December depending on when the series preieres. For example Malibu Country premiered last week so ABC can wait until December to make a decision on a full season. (Although if ratings continue as well as the show premiered it may get a full year faster). ABC will likewise wait a few weeks to decide the fates of Nashville, Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue which in my opinion will get a full season, additional episodes, and cancelled but will air all eps respectively. My guess for the remaining bubble series.

    ABC – Nashville and Malibu Country will probably get full seasons in a week while Last Resort will get additional episodes (16-20) and 66 Park Avenue will likely be capped at 13 eps but all will air.

    CBS – Partners may get a few more episodes but I wouldnt be surprised if CBS capped it at 13. My guess is that it gets 16 eps, airs through February and gets replaced by Rules of Engagement by March.

    CW – My guess is CW will give both Emily Owens and Beauty and the Beast full seasons and move BATB to Fridays at 9 midseason and air Cult Thursdays at 9. Giving all of their freshman series full seasons will help them air less repeats during the spring.

    Fox – The Mob Doctor will most certainly not get a full season but since they havent pulled it now I’m almost sure Fox will air all 13 episodes produced.

    NBC – Whitney will get a full season likely in two weeks and NBC will probably give Guys With Kids anywhere from 18-22 eps for the season also by the end of November.

  • Sam

    Amazing news! CF is my favorite new show this season.

  • Shanna

    Love the show! thank you NBC

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Is there a time limit on when a network can pick up the “back 9??

    If so, when is that?”

    If there’s been no announcement by Thanksgiving, there won’t be one. Although that might be tested with some shows premiering so late this season.

    @Dan, my memory is always questionable, but if you can produce an example of a full season pick up being announced in December I will stand corrected.

  • TVDxItachi

    Taylor Kinney is a former Vampire Diaries Alum , i’m happy his show is doing good.

  • JTV

    @Bill Gorman, Thoughts on NBC adapting a cable-esque model for the network? They have a pretty full slate, but could they be looking for more series with shorter seasons? Of course certain ones would still have full seasons like Parks, SVU, etc.

  • TJ


  • mayorofsmpleton


    NBC has been doing this for the last few seasons. They fully made clear their intention to embrace a more cable-style model with their scripted shows. It’s why Parenthood has been a “time-share” for the last two years. Why they are developing so many 13-15 episode shows (SMASH will do 15, etc). It was openly stated they were going in this direction as they think it’s where TV is headed. I think they’re smart to do it. The traditional 22-24 episode over the length of a season isn’t overly profitable for too many shows. The big hitters can swing it because word of mouth helps keep the show floating but more moderate performers need heavy marketing to keep people interested from Sept-May with so much competition from cable, etc. A show takes a long hiatus and it’s usually dead upon returning unless it gets a heavy promotional campaign to remind people it’s back.

    With the NBC model they can do what cable does, run 13-15 right through and be done for a year. It’s worked well enough for Parenthood and a few other NBC shows.

  • Eddy

    @ mayorofsmplteon

    You’re exactly right NBC has discussed the past few years of establishing more of a cable model for their scripted dramas but I think Chicago Fire is different due to the fact that Chicago Fire can probably get a big syndication deal in the future and its a procedural like Law and Order where the networks will probably see its replay value. I think also that Chicago Fire from what I heard is not that expensive to produce so NBC probably covers profits on the show which allows them to produce the 22 episodes.

  • BigBrotherFan

    If I recall there where some pretty crazy events regarding Traumas addional episode pick-up. The Jay Leno fiasco, Heroes tanking even more, NBC having way more holes to fill because of Jay Leno. I liked Trauma and I remember the show was supposed to be off the air either December or January, and then got a last minute episode pick up.

    I really enjoy the show and am happy to see it get picked up, back 9, a first season…whatever does not change the fact that LIKE WITH ALL, OR ATLEAST MOST, TV shows on the nets it’s going to have 22 completed episodes! Woohoo!

  • Mike B.

    Yes, Sarah Shahi is already filming on set. She is going to be a squeeze for Lt. Kelly’s character. Not sure about this…might be a little distracting, lots of eye candy already on the show. Pretty good show now, don’t think they need any ‘guest stars’.

  • Justin121

    Thanks for the responses.

    I was wondering mostly about shows that premiere in Premiere Week, that don’t get “an early” full-season pick up.

    (Like May Sweeps being the deadline for next-season pick-up).

    ABC has picked up only The Nieghbors, they’re yet to make a decision on Malibu Coutry, Nashville, Last Resort, and 666 Park Ave.

    CBS is yet to make a decision on Partners.

    NBC has Guys with Kids.

    CW has Beauty and the Beast and Emily Owens.

    CW and ABC(‘s likely pick-ups) premiered later, so there’s that.

  • NiceGuyVan

    WHY???? are u trying to make me watch this??? u know if this gets renewed i will have to watch it… but hard for me atm because of one of the mains.

  • Justin121

    My guesses:

    Nashville, Malibu Country (season 2). Nieghbors (1 season). 666 and Resort (half a season).

    Elemantry (season 2), Vegas (1 season), Partners (half a season).

    Chicago Fire, Guys with Kids, Revolution, Go On, New Normal (season 2).

    The Mindy Project (season 2), Ben & Kare (1 season), Mob Doc (13 and done).

    I would’ve predicted a full season for Partners, but CBS still has Ruels of Engagment and Friend Me.

    NBC is having a banner year.

    The CW is tough to call, but if I have to, I say neither Beast or Owens make it to season 2.

    I have no idea which one will give up its slot midseason for Cult.

  • ronnie

    the only shows i watch on nbc are The New Normal and Revolution.
    but i am glad for chicago fire.

  • omabin

    I am so glad for this. I love the show so far. I feel a bit like last year’s revenge in the sense that everyone wrote it off before starting but it is actually proving to have life.

    My guesses on the year freshman’s crop (some of them are just guesses and could go either way, so don’t judge):

    Nashville: full season pickup but canceled at the end (unless it moves to thursday or sunday, that could change things)
    Scandal: renewal (but it will sit on the bubble until then)
    Last Resort: no full season pickup
    666 Park Avenue: no full season pickup
    The Neighbours: renewal, move to TGIF next year
    Malibu Country: full season pickup, renewal

    Chicago Fire: sits on the bubble… It’s hard to say but i will go on renewal for the syndication potential but bearing in mind that depends on how midseason entries do and how nbc’s development slate is, and also on the future of SVU (too many variables)
    Revolution: it won’t remain the hit it is now during spring, but will still be renewed easily
    Whtiney: canceled
    Guys with Kids: canceled
    Up All Night: renewal (they really want it to work, so whatever, maybe fridays)
    Go On: easy renewal, although like revolution, will loose a bit in winter
    The New Normal: it’s renewal will become less obvious, but will still come

    Vegas: canceled
    Elementary: renewal
    Partners: no full season pickup

    Mob Doctor: no full season pickup
    Ben and Kate: canceled
    Mindy Project: canceled

    Arrow: easy renewal
    Beauty and the Beast: full season pickup, moved at midseason, canceled
    Emily Owens: no full season pickup (i still refuse the cw will give it a full season, but i admit it is a possibility since they tend to be crazy like that)

  • Networkman

    Most of us know that Chicago Fire is the show that Dick and NBC is looking to use to replace Law & Order:SVU. The network will definately have something to work with next season in Revolution, Chicago Fire, Grimm and most likely Smash. I also feel Parenthood most likely will return for one more shortened season. SVU has served the network well but it may be time to pass on the torch.

  • ddutchie88

    I’m a fan of this show, so yay!

  • toadytoady

    Yes,Dick Wolf is reinventing himself through Chicago Fire and the adaptation of “Injustice” he is doing with Anthony Horowitz.Its a new era and a new direction. SVU still carries the flag for the Law and Orders and it will stay for as long as its welcome, and for as long as Mariska Hargitay enjoys the rejuvenated writing.She is better without Meloni, and its nice to see a female character leading the show for a change.

  • Jay

    Great news. Fabulous show which will keep growing.

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