When Chicago P.D. was done capping off its sixth season on NBC, it was apparent that two of the show's stars wouldn't be returning for Season 7 and that meant there was an opening in the cast. One of the people who left was longtime franchise vet Jon Seda, who started this gig off on Chicago Fire, and the other is Scrubs vet John C. McGinley, who recurred throughout the sixth season.
Thankfully, the NBC drama hasn't wasted much time in finding a new face to fill part of the void, and it was announced this week that Prison Break and Private Practice vet Paul Adelstein has signed on to join Chicago P.D. in Season 7. But will we get to see the actor's signature smiling face or his signature snarls?
Paul Adelstein is entering the Chicago P.D. universe as Jason Crawford, who will be serving as the Interim Superintendent to replace John C. McGinley's Brian Kelton. Unfortunately, the name and the job title are just about all we have to go on at this point, thanks to TVLine, so there are obviously quite a few questions that are left to be answered here.
Will Crawford be replacing Kelton only in a professional sense within the scope of the narrative, or will the temporary new Superintendent have a similarly corrupt background and approach to moving up in city government? It doesn't seem very likely that Chicago P.D. will set Adelstein's new character up as a villain so soon after Kelton's own corrupt nature has been eliminated. Especially considering how different Kelton was as an antagonist compared to Mykelti Williamson's Denny Woods from Season 5.
The fact that he's only an Interim Superintendent also inspires questions about how long he's going to be around. It's clearly not the easiest gig in the world, since nothing that Voight's around could possibly be considered fun and fancy-free. And speaking of Jason Beghe's Sergeant, how will Crawford be handling Kelton's death when he enters the picture? Will Voight be heavily suspected through the season, or will it all get brushed under the proverbial rug?
Check out a first look at Crawford below.
Viewers probably won't get to see Jason Crawford on a weekly basis, at least not at first. Paul Adelstein's presence will currently be in a recurring capacity, although there's always a chance the writers can flip things around to make the character a bigger part of the story. It probably all depends on how dirty his hands are, and how dirty he'll be willing to get them.
Paul Adelstein has been all over the small screen in the years after Private Practice ended in 2013. He returned to the role of Paul Kellerman for Fox's Prison Break revival, wrapped up recurring stints on Scandal and Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce, starred opposite Hugh Laurie in Hulu's Chance, and co-starred in NBC's short-lived comedy I Feel Bad. And that's not counting his memorable shorter-term appearances on shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Get Shorty and Imposters.
Chicago P.D. wouldn't have suffered too large of a loss if it was only John C. McGinley who was bowing out. (His character was killed off in the finale.) Unfortunately, that loss got a whole lot more noteworthy when Jon Seda announced he would be exiting the hit drama. And though fans have been hopeful through the off-season that the actor might change his mind, don't expect to see Antonio Dawson when Season 7 kicks off. And definitely don't expect to see Sophia Bush returning.
The casts from Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med all got together this week to celebrate each show's production start for the new season. It's unclear at this point exactly when Paul Adelstein's first episode will be, but if he's already dressing out for the role this early, he may very well be there in the Season 7 premiere.
Chicago P.D. will return to NBC for its seventh season on Wednesday, September 25, at 10:00 p.m. ET.