The new gothic drama premiered Thursday to OK ratings but will have another chance to audience-build on April 10. That’s when NBC will repeat the premiere of Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal Lecter series, temporarily filling Chicago Fire‘s Wednesday 10 PM slot. Hannibal‘s second episode airs the following night at its regular time, Thursday 10 PM. Chicago Fire returns with new episodes on April 24.
EXCLUSIVE: NBC‘s Chicago Fire has been on a roll, steadily building from a slow start to hit several series highs in midseason, get its freshman order upped from 22 to 24 episodes and cement a second-season renewal. Now I hear the Dick Wolf-produced firefighter drama may also get a spinoff series. Details are sketchy, but I hear the proposed spinoff is also a Chicago-set procedural about another Public Safety division, the police. I hear the cop drama about the Chicago Police Department is being developed by Chicago Fire creators/executive producers Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, executive producer Matt Olmstead and executive producer Wolf, whose company Wolf Films produces Chicago Fire with Universal TV. Word is that the new show would start off as a planted spinoff with Chicago Fire‘s first season finale directed by Joe Chappelle. It is still being sorted out which Chicago Fire actors may transfer to the spinoff series. Chicago Fire‘s recurring cast includes Chicago PD Detective Antonio Dawson, played by Jon Seda.
While networks usually wait at least two seasons until they use a successful series to launch a spinoff, given the state of NBC, where Chicago Fire is one of few bright spots, the urgency is understandable. Especially when someone of Wolf’s experience spinning off procedural dramas is involved. Wolf is the creator of Law & Order, which successfully spawned two series — Law & Order: SVU and …
With new judges Heidi Klum and former Spice Girl Mel B joining Howard Stern and Howie Mandel, America’s Got Talent will return for its eighth season June 4, NBC said today. Live episodes will start July 23-24.
As AGT settles in for the summer, several NBC shows will wrap their seasons. The Voice, which returns to the schedule Monday, will conclude with a live two-hour season finale June 18. Also back Monday after being off since late November, Revolution ends its freshman season May 27. Hannibal, which debuts April 4, is scheduled to end its first season June 27. Chicago Fire will wrap its first season May 27. The comedies The New Normal, Go On and 1600 Penn will air their season finales April 2, April 11 and March 28, respectively. Parks And Recreation will conclude its season May 2, with Community‘s season finale May 9. Grimm will end its run this year May 17, Law & Order: SVU on May 22. Reality series Fashion Star ends its second season May 10, and The Celebrity Apprentice will complete its current season May 19 with a two-hour episode.
NBC has tacked another hour on to the freshman season of drama Chicago Fire, bringing its order to 24 episodes. The network first ordered one extra episode last week, followed by another episode pickup yesterday. After a slow start, Chicago Fire has found its groove, enjoying a ratings surge in January when its three originals posted the series’ three biggest overall audiences to date and three of its four highest adult 18-49 ratings. The show has now topped its premiere 1.9 demo rating four times and its premiere viewership (6.6 million) six times, including with the Jan. 2 show which posted Live+Same Day series highs of a 2.4/7 in 18-49 and 8.5 million viewers overall. The order upgrades for Chicago Fire come amidst disappointing premiere ratings for NBC’s new midseason drama Do No Harm (0.9 in 18-49) and the second season of Smash (1.2). Chicago Fire is exec produced by Dick Wolf, Danielle Gelber, Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Matt Olmstead and Peter Jankowski.
Fox‘s serial killer drama The Following has accomplished something that no other new drama this season has — to beat the Week 2 slump and build on its premiere in its second airing. Last night, the Kevin Bacon-starring series drew a 3.3/8 among adults 18-49, up 6% from the fast national for its debut (+3% from the final Live+Same Day number). Overall, The Following joins NBC’s Chicago Fire as the only new dramas to improve on their premiere demo rating this season. (Chicago Fire has done it three times, first in Week 5). In total viewers, The Following (10 million), dipped 4% from the opener. The new drama has helped reinvigorate Fox’s Monday night, boosting its lead-in, Bones (2.6/7, 9.2 million), which posted season highs for a second straight week. The veteran procedural was up 13% from last week in 18-49 to log its best demo and total viewer numbers in over a year.
Fox’s lineup was helped by the fact that CBS’ comedy block was in repeats this week vs. originals last Monday, which makes week-to-week comparisons favorable for the Fox dramas. The Following and Bones ranked as the top two programs of the night in 18-49, with Fox taking top demo honors. No.3 was ABC’s The Bachelor (2.5/7), flat with last week. After tipping the scales at 2.4 for each of its first three airings, NBC’s The Biggest Loser (2.3/6) dipped a tenth …
EXCLUSIVE: NBC’s freshman Chicago Fire has been a late bloomer. The firefighter drama did not premiere until October. It started off slow but held onto its lead-in and did just well enough in its first few airings to earn a back 9 order. The Dick Wolf-produced series then kept steady and started to grow, hitting series highs earlier this month. Now it has been given an order for one extra episode, bringing its freshman season to 23 episodes.
Looks like someone didn’t get the memo. WGN Chicago urgently reported this morning on a plane crash “in the middle of the road” on the south side of the city. What the TV station didn’t realize was that it was a scene being filmed for NBC‘s freshman drama Chicago Fire. “One wing was knocked off; I don’t know if this just happened,” anchor Robin Baumgarten said at around 8 AM local time as the station’s Skycam tried to show the scene at the intersection of 29th and Martin Luther King Drive. “It looks like a giant hole in the street,” said fellow anchor Larry Potash. What the anchors could not see (as this photo from the Chicago Tribune displays), was that the area was covered in signage indicating filming was in progress. “All the usual protocol for this type of filming was followed,” said a spokesman for Universal TV, which co-produces the series with Wolf Films.
The station showed the scene for several minutes before Potash got word on air that what they were seeing was part of a TV production. “They might want to tell the news folks,” said an visibly annoyed Baumgarten. “Are you kidding me? 29th and King Drive, it’s OK. It’s all for a TV show, even though you see that plane in the road,” she added. The Chicago Fire Department admitted later that info about the filming was not widely distributed, says the Chicago …
On the heels of hitting series highs last night behind a two-hour Voice, NBC’s freshman Chicago Fire has received a full-season pickup. The firefighter drama, from Wolf Films and Universal TV, has been a modest performer with little help from NBC’s soft Wednesday lineup. But it has held its own, sometime building from the first to the second half-hour, a rare feat for a 10 PM series. And last night, with a strong lead-in, it perked up to finish No.1 in the hour. “We all love this thrilling new drama with its sexy breakout cast,” NBC’s Jennifer Salke said. “We are excited to see it gaining traction on our schedule.”
Chicago Fire is averaging a 2.4/7 in adults 18-49 and 8.0 million viewers overall in “most current” averages through the season’s first six weeks. The series is created/exec produced by Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, with Matt Olmstead serving as showrunner. Taylor Kinney, Jesse Spencer, Eamonn Walker, Monica Raymund, Charlie Barnett and David Eigenberg star. Chicago Fire first got a five-script order from NBC before converting that into a full-season order. NBC has now given full-season orders to freshmen Revolution, Chicago Fire, Go On and The New Normal and has cancelled Animal Practice. Also expected to get a back order is new comedy Guys With Kids, which has a five-script pickup but was pre-empted last night to accommodate The Voice.
As could be expected, the improvement was most dramatic for NBC (+1.2 18-49 rating), which subbed its low-rated Wednesday comedies and Law & Order: SVU with a special live edition of The Voice, which was displaced from Tuesday because of election coverage. The Voice (3.7/10) was down sharply, by 20%, from its Tuesday telecast last week but still handily won vs. rival The X Factor (2.6/7, even with last Wednesday’s fast national) to finish as the No.2 program of the night in the demo behind ABC’s Modern Family. The Voice widened its margin of victory from the first time the two singing competition series went head-to-head in September, when The Voice logged a 3.3 vs. 2.7 for X Factor. The Voice also gave a big boost to rookie Chicago Fire (2.3/6), which shot up 53% from last week’s fast national for a series high and first No. 1 finish in the 10 PM hour (tie). (Chicago Fire‘s lead-in last night was up 118% from last week’s SVU broadcast.) It was a great sampling opportunity for Chicago Fire; we’ll have to wait until next week to see how many new viewers will come back. For now, NBC is basking in its first in-season …
On the heels of its ratings climb last night, NBC‘s freshman drama Chicago Fire has received an order for five additional scripts. It is the same script order NBC recently gave freshman comedy Guys With Kids. After dropping 21% in Week 2, Chicago Fire rebounded last night, up 20% from last Wednesday to a 1.8 rating among adults 18-49. It was helped by its lead-in, the 300th episode of veteran Law & Order: SVU (1.8, up 13%). Both series hail from Wolf Films and Universal TV.
Shiri Appleby is finalizing a deal for a recurring role on NBC’s new firefighter drama Chicago Fire produced by Dick Wolf. She will play Clarice, the ex-girlfriend of Shay (Lauren German) who is pregnant and married to a rich husband. The pending deal comes on the heels of Appleby booking a recurring role on the second season of the HBO comedy Girls. She is with Gersh and manager John Carrabino.
Amanda Fuller has been cast as a new regular on the second season of the ABC comedy Last Man Standing. She will portray Tim Allen and Nancy Travis’ oldest daughter Kristin, played in the first season by Alexandra Krosney. This is one of several recastings the series is undergoing heading into its sophomore season. Fuller, repped by Global Artists Agency and Thruline, recently recurred on Grey’s Anatomy.
Canadian Emily Bett Rickards has landed a recurring role on the new CW drama Arrow, which takes on the Green Arrow comics. She will play Felicity Smoak, a DC Comics character known for her technical expertise. Smoak on Arrow is a similar character, an IT wunderkind at Queen Consolidated.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Dick Wolf made a rare appearance during NBC‘s TCA presentation this morning at the Beverly Hilton to trot out Wolf Films’ first non-Law & Order-branded series in six years, the new firefighter drama Chicago Fire. He assured critics that the show isn’t anything close to his usual procedural but proved too fascinating a subject to resist. “There are very few franchises or areas that give you the opportunity to really explore character,” Wolf, flanked by his cast, said. “It’s not fire of the week. It’s a character study about people who do things that you can’t pay people to do. You can’t pay people to run into burning buildings. So it is a canvas for good writing. And writing that you haven’t seen for a while on network television. It is a big, full broadcast show with multi characters and multi storylines going. And the writers room could be put in a book about screenwriting.” Wolf insisted the show is designed in the same tone as what he called NBC “platinum dramas” from the past like ER, Hill Street Blues — and Law & Order. “It’s hopefully in the tradition of these shows that have become, for better of for worse, iconic,” Wolf added. “These shows are never written down to the audience. It all goes back to the writing. There’s never been a good show with bad writing, and there’s few bad shows with good writing. Quality does out…The secret of success on television is writing. That’s it.”