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With all the recent network Upfront presentations cluing TV viewers in on what all the network primetime schedules are going to look like, a ton of headlines were dedicated to the dozens of shows that got the ax instead of a renewal. A paltry few series still remain on the bubble, with their futures less and less likely with each passing day, and NBC finally made a call with the newest entry in its Chicago franchise, Chicago Justice, and that call was for a cancellation. No Season 2 for Chicago Justice.
This announcement provides a mix of surprise and understanding, as Chicago Justice was definitely one of the NBC shows that performed mostly to lowered expectations when it debuted, though it was hardly a failure. Still, it couldn't hold a candle to Chicago Fire, which is NBC's bread and butter when it comes to viewership, and the flagship drama sits behind only This Is Us in the key demo ratings. The other shows don't fare quite as well, and there was talk some months ago that Chicago Med or Chicago P.D. might get cut from the schedule instead. But that obviously didn't happen, and the freshman series was the one to go.
Chicago Justice is the second one-and-done NBC drama in a row for former Strikeback star Philip Winchester, who played the head of a Special Prosecutions Bureau aiming to get at the heart of big controversies and attention-grabbing media cases. The team of talented investigators and such included Carl Weathers, Joelle Carter, Monica Barbaro, and Jon Seda, who hopped from Chicago P.D. to this series when it branched off. And though critical acclaim wasn't very widespread or anything, Chicago Justice was not a ratings slouch across its 13 episodes, only once dipping below five million viewers, while always keeping its demo rating at a 1.0 or higher. What's more, delayed viewing was solid as well, generally adding around 2.5 million people per week. Just not enough, it seems.
So if the ratings weren't bad and the reviews weren't abysmal, are we to believe that Chicago Justice was cancelled mostly because Arrested Development is coming back? After all, nobody better get in between Carl Weathers and a good Burger King meal and/or a brothy potato stew. Probably not the case, since the problem lies partly with syndication models going the way of the dodo bird, but hopefully we'll get to see all these talented cast members moving on to new and exciting projects.
You can check out NBC's entire fall lineup, where the rest of your favorite Chicago shows will return, and if you're not all caught up on what else has been cancelled and renewed, get a current rundown of everything on both the big networks and cable/streaming. After that, head to our summer TV schedule to see when the rest of the mid-year primetime offerings will debut.