Why Chicago Med's Ratings Keep Rising, According To Yaya DaCosta

chicago med april worried nbc
(Image credit: nbc press)

When it comes to ruling primetime with an interconnected universe, Dick Wolf's Chicago dramas have things sewn up pretty tight over on NBC's Wednesday nights. Chicago Med, in particular, is one of few TV series that has managed to boost its average year-to-year viewership with its fourth season. Med star Yaya DaCosta recently spoke with CinemaBlend and other outlets for an NBC press junket, and when our own Jeff McCobb asked why she thought the show's audience just keeps building, she offered this as part of her reply:

I think the showrunners are great, and the writers keep coming up with ideas. Some of it original, some of it is pulled from the headlines. And then there's a balance between the medical world and the personal lives of the characters, and our personal lives are sometimes frustratingly not always predictable.

Like one of Dick Wolf's other mainstream TV successes, Chicago Med is no first-year student when it comes to ripping from the headlines for its various plots and patients. But that's obviously not the only way the show's creative team handles the storytelling, considering there are a ton of personal relationships to develop that wouldn't get served well with mainstream news stories as an inspiration.

Here, Yaya DaCosta talks about those relationships being another reason why Chicago Med can maintain such a steady viewership.

We have people rooting for relationships that are breaking up and getting back together. Mine, in particular, people are like, 'Enough already!' But it's part of the excitement. The energy behind 'Enough already' is the same energy behind, 'I'm-a see what happens next week.' And that's why they tune back in. They want to see, 'Is there gonna be some progress? What's gonna happen?' And characters do come back.

Anyone who watches any or all of the Chicago dramas knows just how exciting and frustrating the various romances and partnerships can be, depending on what the writers are doing with them. Considering there are so many characters to pay attention to across Med, Fire and P.D., I suppose fans should always be grateful to get as much time with our favorite characters as we do. (But griping can still be healthy for fans' mental health.)

Speaking of being grateful, though, Yaya DaCosta is anything but braggadocious about Chicago Med's rating wins. Here, she talks about being quite thankful for all the attention and support the show has amassed.

I'm grateful for it. It's a blessing. Every time we get back to work on Thursday after a show has aired on a Wednesday night, and someone says, 'Ooh, did you see the numbers?' And they share the information. Like the other week, winning [out over all dramas], period, for the whole week on all networks. I was like, 'What? Really?' I mean, it's not shocking, because I know we have a good show, and I love our work, but I do know how rare it is for something to be consistently climbing. It seems like a lot of times, shows will have their strong following, and then it kind of goes off. And so to be on something that is consistently growing and people are more and more enthusiastic about it – people are more and more invested in these characters – it just feels really great.

With a third season that topped its second by an average of around 600,000 viewers, Chicago Med is on course to possibly rise even higher with Season 4. Many of Season 3's live episodes were only getting watched by around 6.5 million viewers, while recent Season 4 episodes have Live+Same Day viewership totals topping 9 million. Plus, most episodes are bringing in over 3 million more pairs of eyeballs in Live+7 delayed viewing. Be jealous, most other shows.

Chicago Med, which has understandably already been renewed for Season 5, airs every Wednesday night on NBC at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.