It's that time again One Chicago fans! The first mega-crossover of this season between Chicago Fire, Chicago Med and Chicago P.D. airs tonight, and it's been promised to be the most intertwined, three hour crossover we've ever gotten from the franchise. While filming on any TV show as intense and (frequently) action-packed as these dramas tend to be can be trying in normal circumstances, it turns out that working on the big crossover episodes is an even more difficult affair. So difficult, in fact, that super producer Dick Wolf actually admitted that "nobody likes" the process.
I had the opportunity to visit One Chicago Day recently along with other outlets, and when Dick Wolf sat down with us he was asked about the process he and his showrunners go through to put each of these large crossovers together, and whether or not they draw inspiration from current events. And, while he did answer the question, he also gave us a lot more insight into just how grueling these shoots are.
Yes and no. A lot of the times - nobody likes making the crossovers. It's horrible. They shoot Saturdays; it's very complicated, and there's always a lot more re-shooting. You put them together and you [realize], 'Ugh, this character has gone a little bit astray here...' We had a dinner last night and people had been working 16 days in a row, and most of these last two weeks has been re-shooting, and I assured everybody, 'We're going to stop shooting before it airs!' They were relieved!"
Phew! Sixteen days in a row? Without time run errands, watch trash TV or do a deep conditioner on my hair on Sundays? Forget about being exhausted, I'm already dead just thinking about the grind that everyone involved in the Chicago franchise goes through to bring us these crossovers every season. If I could instruct all of them to stop whatever they're doing right now and take a two-hour nap, I would.
Also, think about how many times you've done something really hard that turned out well, but decided not to do it again because it kinda seemed like too much trouble. According to Dick Wolf (and he would know), even though literally everyone behind the scenes and in front of the camera for the Chicago crossovers would rather not be making them, they still do it...every single year.
Obviously, a lot of their determination to put their own comfort and sanity aside for several weeks and make these crossovers comes from the fact that fans absolutely eat them up every season. Each series is a hit in its own right, but bringing the casts together has definitely been good business for Chicago Fire, Med and P.D., not to mention Dick Wolf and NBC.
It's not hard to imagine, either, why it would feel like filming and assembling all three hours just never stops. There were probably several times in the past couple of weeks where everyone thought they finally had what they needed on film, only for the editing process to reveal repeated "ugh" moments that Dick Wolf mentioned, leading many folks back to film the same scene again. No wonder Wolf had a dinner for all of them and had to promise that crossover shooting would at least stop before it actually aired. I'm sure they were thrilled!
This year's crossover, titled "Infection" will follow the teams from Chicago Fire, Med and P.D. as they try to solve a case we've never seen before on the series: that of a weaponized flesh-eating disease which has the city on lockdown and is spreading a lot faster than anyone would want. "Infection" will air across all three Chicago hours, tonight, Wednesday, October 16 on NBC and kicks off with Chicago Fire at 8 p.m. EST.