How NBC's Giant Chicago Crossover Did In The Ratings

nbc chicago p.d.

NBC has created an empire of primetime dramas with its successful Chicago franchise, which began the 2016 - 2017 TV season comprised of Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and Chicago Med. The network just debuted Chicago Justice as part of a massive four-show crossover that took over NBC's primetime slots last night. Now, the numbers are in, and we know just how the three-hour event did. As it turns out, NBC had a great night with all things Chicago.

The crossover event kicked off at 8 p.m. ET with an episode of Chicago Fire, which scored an impressive 1.7 in the valuable 18-49 age demographic and attracted 9.06 million viewers in the Live+same day calculations. The action moved to Chicago P.D. at 9 p.m., and that episode earned a 1.9 in the 18-49 demo and was watched by 9.6 million viewers. Chicago Justice closed out the evening in the 10 p.m. slot, and the new show won a 1.7 in 18-49 and landed an audience of 8.73 million viewers.

The Chicago crossover did well enough that NBC led every hour of primetime on Wednesday night. The P.D. episode was an especially big success, as TV By The Numbers reports that the 1.9 rating was the highest scored by any episode of the series in more than a year, and the 9.6 million viewers marks its highest total audience ever. The crossover also gave a solid start to Chicago Justice. The viewership was lower than both Fire and P.D., but Justice did hit the same rating in 18-49 as Chicago Fire, and that's no small achievement.

Personally, I'm not shocked that Chicago Justice fared worse than either Fire or P.D. overall. Sure, the Justice episode was the conclusion of the entire event, but the action slowed down somewhat once the investigation gave way to prosecution. That's not to say that Chicago Justice will be a flop of a series; it just wasn't necessarily something that viewers felt compelled to stick around and watch. We'll have to wait and see how the series does when it moves to its regular night.

It should also be interesting to see if Chicago Med's numbers experience a boost in its next episode. Med was the only Chicago series not to get its own episode in the crossover event, but characters from the hospital drama were sprinkled throughout the other episodes as the doctors and nurses tried to save everybody injured by the massive fire that prompted all the crossover action. Prior to Justice joining the Chicago franchise, Med was generally the lowest-rated of the three shows. It might have benefited from a crossover boost. We'll have to wait and see how it performs on its own moving forward.

You can catch Chicago Justice when it debuts in its regular time slot on Sunday, March 5 at 9 p.m. ET. Don't forget to check out our midseason TV premiere schedule to see what else you can watch on the small screen, and take a look at our 2017 Netflix premiere schedule for a peek at what's available streaming.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).