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TCA: NBC Drama Series Showrunners Tell TV Critics How It’s Done

By | Sunday July 13, 2014 @ 6:09pm PDT

TCA: NBC Drama Series Showrunners Tell TV Critics How It’s DoneAt the end of its day at Summer TV Press Tour 2014, NBC brought out four of the showrunners on returning drama series to take questions. Matt Olmstead (Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D.) said that when he was working on a cable program, “I missed doing 22 [episodes],” while John Eisendrath (The Blacklist) said, “Having never done a 12-episode order, I’m totally jealous.”

Eisendrath was set up to vent about the fact that neither The Blacklist nor its star James Spader scored Drama Series Emmy noms on Thursday. He said he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t disappointed. “I think he’s completely deserving of it. The competition is fierce, that’s the reality — TV is thriving, there’s that much competition. I was disapointed, but I understand how it happened and what happened. We have to continue to do the best shows we can and hope we’re on long enough for people to reconsider,” he concluded, diplomatically.

All the showrunners were asked a certain number of beauty-pageant questions, like ‘what qualities are necessary in a showrunner?’ Jason Katims (Parenthood, About A  Boy) went with “embrace the collaborative nature of making a television show”; Eisendrath went with “not to panic..and be open to new ideas.” Asked what was the most difficult part of the job, Olmstead said, “Trying to figure out what … Read More »

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‘Chicago Fire’ Writer-Producer Andrea Newman Inks Overall Deal With Universal TV

By | Thursday May 22, 2014 @ 10:25am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

newmanUniversal TV has locked in one of the key writer-producers on its NBC drama Chicago Fire. The studio has signed an overall deal with Andrea Newman, who has served as co-executive producer on the firefighter drama since after the pilot. Under the pact, Newman will continue as co-exec producer on Chicago Fire while also developing other projects. Because of a shortage of experienced, senior level drama writer-producers, the studios have been particularly aggressive this year in pursuing seasoned scribes. Newman, repped by ICM Partners and Jeff Frankel, has worked on such series as The Secret Circle, Human Target, Private Practice, Cold Case, 24 and Felicity.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘NCIS’, ‘Person Of Interest’ & ‘Glee’ Finales Down, ‘Riot’ Debuts Weak, ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Finale Even

By | Wednesday May 14, 2014 @ 9:41am PDT

NCIS MAY 13 SEASON FINALEIt was wall-to-wall, time slot-to-time slot finales last night in primetime as the 2013-14 season enters into its final days. CBS was the only network to have nothing but finales last night, but its traditionally hard-punching Tuesday lineup’s success has been in part due to seamless flow, so a collective bow for the year made sense. And it did as CBS won the night both in terms of adults 18-49 with a 2.3/7 rating and 14.1 million total viewers. The night was kicked off by NCIS (2.6/9), which wrapped up its 11th season with a tribute to actor Ralph Waite among its usual investigations. Waite, who died February 13 and was best known for his paternal role on The Waltons,  had recurred on the procedural since 2008 as the father to lead Mark Harmon. To that end, NCIS was both the highest-rated show of the night and the most watched with a beefy 16.77 million tuning in. The show also topped The Voice (2.5/9) for the first time among adults 18-49, though with the adjustments the NBC singing show usually sees that could change in final numbers. Looking at NCIS’ numbers, compared with last week, last night’s show was up a more-than-respectable 13%, but compared with its Season 10 finale, the vet was down a hard 24% from that May 14, 2013, broadcast.

The same could not be said of lead-out NCIS: LA (2.5/7). While the second-most-watched show of Tuesday’s primetime with an audience of 14.77 million, the spinoff ended its fifth season not only with a 14% rise from it May 6 show but even with its Season 4 ender, also on May 14 last year. The finale-to-finale flat news did not continue for Person Of Interest (1.9/6). The tech thriller was up from last week by 12% but down 21% from its May 9, 2013, Season 2 ender. CBS renewed all of the Tuesday shows for another season each March 13 this year — though NCIS: LA is moving to Mondays while new spinoff NCIS: New Orleans takes its Tuesday spot.

Related: CBS 2014 Schedule: Monday Comedy Block Trimmed, ‘NCIS: New Orleans’ Gets Post-‘NCIS’ Slot, ‘NCIS:LA’ To Monday, ‘CSI’ To Sunday…

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NBC Renews ‘Chicago Fire’, ‘Chicago PD’ & ‘Grimm’

By | Wednesday March 19, 2014 @ 4:59pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBC has given early renewals for next season to three chicago firemore dramas: Chicago Fire, its spinoff Chicago P.D., and Grimm. All hail from Universal TV. They join hot freshman The Blacklist, which already was picked up for a second season. Also set to return next season are veteran comedy Parks And Recreation (Season 7), flagship reality series The Voice (Cycle 7), and Celebrity Apprentice (Cycle 14), which skipped a season.

Related: 2014 NBC Pilots

NBC_logoThe renewal of Dick Wolf’s Chicago Fire for a third season and Chicago P.D. for a second opens the door to further expanding the franchise with a long-rumored Chicago-set medical drama though that likely won’t happen for next season. Last year, NBC picked up all of Wolf’s series at the same time. This time, Law & Order: SVU is not part of the package as the veteran usually gets a renewal close to the upfronts. But with the Chicago franchise grimm logoblossoming, would the last representative of Wolf’s previous power NBC procedural brand, Law & Order, call it a day? (From what I hear, that doesn’t seem very likely, at least not this season.)

Chicago Fire and especially Chicago P.D. have benefited from franchise crossovers that have lifted ratings. Another one is coming with a massive bomb explosion storyline, which will span the April 29 episode … Read More »

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NBC’s ‘Chicago Fire’, ‘Parks & Rec’, ‘Grimm’ And ‘Parenthood’ Go Digital To Keep Fans Engaged During Games

By | Monday February 10, 2014 @ 11:54am PST

NBC announced today it will offer digitalkey_art_parks_and_recreation-300x116 series for four of its primetime series; Chicago Fire, Parks And Recreation, Grimm, and Parenthood to keep fans focused in February while Olympics take over NBC’s primetime. All digital series will be streamed on NBC.com, Hulu and YouTube.

From today’s announcement: Read More »

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TCA: NBC’s ‘Chicago PD’, ‘Chicago Fire’ & ‘Law & Order: SVU’ To Crossover Through Season

By | Sunday January 19, 2014 @ 12:58pm PST

Chicago PD Law & Order SVU The debut season of NBC‘s Chicago PD isn’t just going to see characters crossover with parent series Chicago Fire. It will also feature a Chicago-NY crossover with the network’s crime drama juggernaut Law & Order franchise – and that’s just the beginning, exec producer Dick Wolf teased today at TCA. The new police-focused series debuted earlier this month to OK ratings, focusing on Chicago Fire character Detective Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) and a new cast of cops fighting crime in the Windy City. Overlap with Fire began with episode 1. “[David] Eigenberg was there with Pouch the dog,” Wolf noted, adding that storylines between the two Chicago dramas will arc “over a couple of episodes” with some regularity. PD star Sophia Bush revealed that she’s heading to New York this week to film a scene with Law & Order: SVU‘s Mariska Hargitay. Last fall it was reported that a PD/SVU crossover would air in February after the Sochi Olympics in which the New York unit comes to Chicago in pursuit of an interstate perp. “There is going to be a major crossover at the end of the season, a story that is so big it involves everybody,” Wolf teased.

Related: RATINGS RAT RACE: OK Start For ‘Chicago PD’

The planned multi-series crossovers could pave the way for more integration within the Chicago Fire/Chicago PD/SVU TV universe. Read More »

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Melissa Ponzio To Recur On NBC’s ‘Chicago Fire; Kevin Ryan Joins ‘Crossbones’

By | Wednesday November 27, 2013 @ 11:29am PST
Nellie Andreeva

ponzioMelissa Ponzio has booked a recurring role on NBC’s firefighter drama Chicago Fire.  She will play Donna, a love interest to Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker).  Ponzio, repped by Domain and Kass Management, recently recurred on The Walking Dead and Teen Wolf.

kevinryanCopper alum Kevin Ryan is set to recur on another NBC hourlong series, the upcoming Crossbones On the pirate drama, he will play Finnegan, a heavily-tattooed, hard and solemn pirate with a scar across one eye, who becomes involved with Blackbeard (John Malkovich). Ryan is with Mosaic, Resolution and attorney David Matlof.

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Christine Evangelista Joins ‘Chicago Fire’; Julian Sands To Recur On ‘Crossbones’

By | Tuesday November 19, 2013 @ 4:31pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Lucky 7 co-star Christine Evangelista has been cast in a recurring role on NBC’s firefighter drama series Chicago Fire. She will play Allison Rafferty, a new paramedic at 51, a firecracker who gives as good as she gets and knows what she’s doing when the bells go off. Evangelista is with WME, MJ Management and Rick Genow at Stone, Meyer, Genow, Smelkinson and Binder.

Julian Sands (24) has been tapped for a heavily recurring role on NBC’s new pirate drama series Crossbones starring John Malkovich. He will play William Jagger, an aristocrat-turned-privateer and governor of Jamaica who dispatches Tom Lowe (Richard Coyle) to accompany inventor-mathematician Benedict Nightingale and his Marine Chronometer to England by way of a secret convoy. Sands is with SDB and Seven Summits Pictures and Management.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Person of Interest’ Tops ‘Chicago Fire’, ‘Goldbergs’ Ticks Up

Nellie Andreeva

While ABC’s flashy newcomer Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and NBC’s hot transplant Chicago Fire have been drawing a lot of attention on Tuesday, CBS’ Person Of Interest has quietly settled into its new Tuesday 10 PM slot. In a workmanlike manner, the mystery drama has ticked up by a tenth in the fast nationals for the past two weeks, logging a 2.2 in adults 18-49 last night to top the Tuesday 10 PM hour in the demo for the first time, edging NBC’s Chicago Fire (2.1, down 13% from its fast national last week.) In typical CBS fashion, the network’s lineup weathered the big Tuesday launches on the other networks and are now taking charge. At 8 PM, veteran NCIS (3.0) held its fast national rating from last week to top Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2.6) for a second consecutive Tuesday, widening its margin of victory to 15%. NCIS: LA logged a 2.6 for a third straight week.

NBC’s The Voice (4.0) ticked up a tenth compared with its fast nationals last Tuesday despite its lead-in, The Biggest Loser (2.0), dipping 9% from its season premiere last week. While Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. slipped to a new low, its lead-out, new comedy The Goldbergs, ticked up a tenth from its low last week. But its companion, fellow newbie Trophy Wife, went down another tenth to a new low of 1.2. Both series received orders for three additional scripts last week. How good of a utility player is Shark Tank? A rare repeatable reality franchise, the contraption competition pulled in a 1.1 with a rerun at 10 PM last night, topping the Scandal repeats that had been airing in the slot as well as the last Lucky 7 originals. Read More »

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The Big Story Of Premiere Week So Far: NBC

ABC’s gloppiest-named new series, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may be the hottest launch of the three-day-old broadcast TV season, but The Big Story so far in Premiere Week ?

NBC.

NBC is up with every single one of its series on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights compared to Premiere Week 2012. The network has won seven of nine hours in the demo among broadcasters. In total viewers, it’s won six of the week’s first nine primetime hours and has moved from third place to first — making those Comcast guys look pretty clever for having re-upped NBC programming chief Bob Greenblatt’s contract without waiting for Premiere Week numbers.

Related:
The One Thing Each Network Must Pull Off To Claim Success
2013-14 Broadcast Season Preview: Challenges The Networks Face

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Strong Premiere For ABC’s ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’, ‘Lucky 7′ Flops, NBC’s ‘Chicago Fire’ Hits Highs

By | Wednesday September 25, 2013 @ 9:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Nine years after Lost, another ABC drama series got off to a big start at 8 PM. The network’s heavily promoted Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. drew 11.9 million live viewers and a 4.6 rating in adults 18-49 in its debut last night. It was television’s highest-rated premiere in 18-49 in nearly 4 years, since November 3, 2009. The rest of ABC’s all-new Tuesday lineup couldn’t keep up. The most promising newcomer was comedy The Goldbergs, which opened with a 3.2/9 immediately following S.H.I.E.L.D. The premiere of fellow new comedy Trophy Wife slipped to 2.3/6 while new drama Lucky 7 (1.3/4) was dead on arrival as the lowest rated fall drama premiere in ABC history.

NBC’s The Voice continues to impress. After winning an Emmy on Sunday and returning higher on Monday, the singing competition managed to stay up year-vs-year even last night airing against S.H.I.E.L.D. and the season premiere of CBS’ NCIS. The Voice (4.6 in 18-49) tied S.H.I.E.L.D. as the highest-rated program of the night in the demo, up 15% from last fall’s Tuesday debut (down 10% from Monday). It boosted new lead-out Chicago Fire (2.8, 9.2 million), which posted series high in 18-49 and total viewers, up 47% in the demo from last fall’s series premiere on Wednesday behind SVU and up 27% from the one time last fall it aired after The Voice. For the first time in eight years, NBC won Tuesday night of premiere week in 18-49, ranking as No. 1 in the demo in every hour of primetime. Read More »

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Kiernan Shipka & Mason Dye Join ‘Flowers In The Attic’, Mena Suvari To ‘Chicago Fire’

By | Wednesday August 14, 2013 @ 6:11pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Mad Men‘s Kiernan Shipka and Mason Dye have booked young leads in Lifetime‘s original movie Flowers In The Attic. Based on V.C. Andrews’ controversial best-selling book, Flowers weaves the gothic tale of four young siblings, two boys and two girls, who, after the tragic death of their father, are subjected to cruel emotional and physical abuse resulting from a dark, long-hidden family secret. Abandoned by their mother (Heather Graham) and forced to endure unimaginable treatment living in the attic of their grandparents’ mansion, the children form a family unit of their own. But as the oldest boy (Dye) and girl (Shipka) come of age emotionally and physically while caring for their younger brother and sister, their family’s sordid past entraps them further as they try to survive and escape from the harsh conditions in which they live. Ellen Burstyn plays the children’s grandmother, Olivia.

Mena Suvari has been cast in a recurring role on the NBC drama Chicago Fire. She will play Isabella, a close friend of Dawson (Monica Raymond) who is enlisted to help Mouch (Christian Stolte) with his campaign as President of the Chicago Firefighters Union. But although Mouch and Isabella have a strictly professional relationship, things heat up between Isabella and one of Mouch’s fellow firefighters. Suvari … Read More »

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Michelle Forbes To Recur On ‘Chicago Fire’, Leslie Odom, Jr On ‘Person Of Interest’

By | Tuesday July 23, 2013 @ 1:28pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The Killing‘s Michelle Forbes has been cast in a recurring role on the Wolf Films/Universal Television NBC series Chicago Fire. She plays Gail McLeod, a high ranking consultant with the State Fire Marshal’s office, who keeps a sharp eye on budgets and performance at the city’s fire houses. And 51 is definitely under her microscope.

Smash co-star Leslie Odom, Jr. has been booked for a potentially recurring role on CBS’ Person of Interest. He plays Peter, an educated, even-tempered tech executive. Highly analytical, he plays his cards close to the vest. Repped by  Bauman Redanty and Shaul and manager Joan Sittenfield.
 

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‘Chicago Fire’ & ‘Chicago PD’ Showrunner Matt Olmstead Inks Overall Deal With Uni TV

By | Friday May 31, 2013 @ 2:44pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Matt Olmstead, executive producer of NBC’s Chicago Fire and co-creator/executive producer of its upcomiMatt Olmstead Chicago Fireng spinoff Chicago PD, has signed a rich two-year overall deal with Universal Television, the studio behind the two series, along with Wolf Films. Under the seven-figure pact, Olmstead will continue as showrunner on Chicago Fire and also will serve as showrunner on Chicago PD, working on both series with Chicago Fire creators/exec producers and Chicago PD co-creators/exec producers Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, as well as exec producer Dick Wolf. Making things a bit easier logistically is the fact that Chicago PD has a midseason order. “Matt is an experienced and creative showrunner and we were thrilled with his stellar work on Chicago Fire, Uni TV EVP Bela Bajaria said. “We look forward to extending our relationship with him on Chicago PD and at Universal TV”. Read More »

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NBC Renews ‘Revolution,’ ‘Chicago Fire,’ ‘Parenthood,’ ‘Grimm’, ‘Law & Order: SVU’

By | Friday April 26, 2013 @ 11:49am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Sky In Three Season Deal For 'Revolution'NBC has handed the expected early renewals to its stronger drama series: freshmen Revolution and Chicago Fire as well as Parenthood, Grimm and veteran Law & Order: SVU. All have received full-season, 22-episode pickups. Missing from the drama list is recent addition Hannibal, which has dropped in the ratings the past two weeks after a solid start, and fellow midseason drama Deception. I hear NBC has not closed the door completely on Deception though a renewal appears unlikely. “On the verge of our 2013 fall scheduling decisions, we’re pleased to renew five drama series that will be important to our new-season lineup,” NBC’s entertainment president Jennifer Salke said. “We’re especially pleased to be renewing Revolution and Chicago Fire — two first-season successes — and there will be more returning series announcements made in the next couple of weeks.” Those announcements will no doubt include reality hit The Voice and veteran comedy Parks And Recreation, which are assured a return for next season. All the other NBC comedies are heavily on the bubble. Things look a little better for The New Normal, which just won a GLAAD Award and comes from top producer Ryan Murphy, with Matthew Perry starrer Go On also in contention. Meanwhile, cult favorite Community‘s future is cloudy, with the future of multi-camera entries Whitney and Guys With Kids also in limbo. NBC might keep one of the multi-cam sitcoms for continuity as it is likely to order at least one, the Sean Hayes/Victor Fresco project, and expanding NBC’s multi-camera footprint appears to be a priority for the network’s brass.

The renewal for Law & Order: SVU comes before the producers have secured the return of star Mariska Hargitay. Today’s announcement gives producer Dick Wolf two series on the NBC schedule next season, L&O: SVU and Chicago Fire. They could be joined by the proposed Chicago Fire spinoff. The renewal brings more good news for Grimm, which recently received a temporary time slot upgrade and The Voice lead-in. Here are details about NBC’s newly renewed dramas: Read More »

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Dick Wolf Confident Of ‘Chicago Fire’ Renewal, Says Boston Marathon Storyline Would Be Difficult: NBC Press Day

By | Monday April 22, 2013 @ 12:29pm PDT

Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.

Chicago Fire creator and exec producer Dick Wolf sounded confident this morning that his freshman firefighter drama would be renewed for a second season, considering that the hour has helped to goose ratings in its Wednesday night time slot 17% this season with adults 18-49. How confident is he? “We even know what the first episode of the third season is,” Wolf admitted at today’s NBC Summer Press Day. “We are definitely looking at the remainder of this season as a jumping-off point for next season.” And in fact, as Deadline has reported extensively, a Chicago Fire spinoff is very much in the works, with the rookie season finale tabbed as the jumping-off point for a series centered in the Chicago Police Department. It too will be from Wolf Films and Universal TV. However, in keeping with his tight-lipped style, Wolf would say only, “We always talk about every possible permutation of what can happen, but we never talk about development.” When asked if it is in fact renewed, might he consider a storyline paying homage to the responders of last week’s Boston Marathon bombing. “Dealing with terrorism is very very tough, that’s all I’m gonna say,” Wolf said, before adding, “The last thing we want to do is exploit a tragedy that is so specific that it would be difficult.” Read More »

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‘Chicago Fire’ Hunk Taylor Kinney In Talks To Star In Fox’s ‘The Other Woman’

By | Monday April 15, 2013 @ 5:00pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Taylor Kinney is in talks to join the cast of The Other Woman, the film that Nick Cassavetes will direct for Fox. While talks are underway and they have to work around his schedule on his series Chicago Fire, I’m told that Kinney plans to join Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Game Of Thrones‘ Nikolaj Coster Waldau and Kate Upton in the film. Julie Yorn is producing and Melissa Stack wrote the script, about two women in bed with the same guy who get mad he’s even more prolific and plot revenge. Kinney, an up and comer who was last seen playing one of the SEAL Team shooters in Zero Dark Thirty, is repped by Gersh and Principal Entertainment LA.

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Kelly Blatz Cast In ‘Chicago Fire’ Spinoff

By | Wednesday April 10, 2013 @ 11:26am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Kelly Blatz has joined NBC‘s proposed Chicago Fire spinoff, from Wolf Films and Universal TV. Blatz will guest star in the Chicago Fire freshman season finale, which serves as planted spinoff for a potential new drama series, a cop drama about the Chicago Police Department. Blatz will play the young but seasoned Officer Elam, a role that would be one of the leads of the potential spinoff. He joins recently cast Melissa Sagemiller, Tania Raymonde and Scott Eastwood. The Chicago Fire spinoff project is being developed by Chicago Fire creators/executive producers Derek Haas and Michael Brandt and executive producers Matt Olmstead and Wolf. Read More »

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Melissa Sagemiller To Star In NBC’s ‘Chicago Fire’ Spinoff

By | Wednesday April 10, 2013 @ 9:54am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Melissa Sagemiller has been tapped for what is considered the leading new addition in the proposed Chicago Fire spinoff, from Wolf Films and Universal TV. Sagemiller will appear in the Chicago Fire freshman season finale, which serves as planted spinoff for a potential new drama series, a cop drama about the Chicago Police Department. Sagemiller will play Detective Willhite, a member of the Chicago PD Intelligence Unit. The gig reunites Sagemiller with Wolf Films and NBC after doing a major arc on Law & Order: SVU as ADA Gillian Hardwicke two years ago. Coincidentally, SVU too is a spinoff, spawned from the long-running Law & Order series. In the Chicago Fire spinoff project, which is being developed by Chicago Fire creators/executive producers Derek Haas and Michael Brandt and executive producers Matt Olmstead and Wolf, Sagemiller joins recently cast Tania Raymonde and Scott Eastwood.

Related: Kelly Blatz Cast In ‘Chicago Fire’ Spinoff

It is still unclear which Chicago Fire actors would transfer to the spinoff series, with Jon Seda, who has been recurring as Chicago PD Detective Antonio Dawson, considered a strong possibility. Sagemiller’s series credits also include Sleeper Cell and Raising The Bar. She is with Paradigm and the Schiff Co.

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