Chicago Med Bosses Talk The 'Emotional Toll' Of COVID On Characters, One Chicago Crossovers And More

chicago med season 6. premiere ethan choi nbc
(Image credit: NBC)

The long wait for the return of One Chicago is almost at an end, and Chicago Med will kick off premiere night on November 11 to reveal the new pandemic status quo. After ending Season 5 early due to production shutdowns, Med will tackle the COVID-19 pandemic when it launches Season 6, and viewers shouldn't expect the doctors and nurses to get back to business as usual by the end of the premiere. Showrunners Andrew Schneider and Diane Frolov shared some of what to expect from the COVID stories, One Chicago crossovers, and more.

The Season 6 premiere, called "When Did We Begin To Change," will see the Chicago Med staff adjusting to the new normal of working during the COVID pandemic, with Choi, Lanik, and April on the front lines to fight the illness, and a One Chicago trailer reveals the new state of the ED for all the doctors, nurses, and patients. Co-showrunner Andrew Schneider explained the emotional toll of the pandemic on the various characters, saying:

COVID will be a major topic this season with all our characters dealing with it in one way or another. Besides the COVID cases and the fear of oneself being infected, there's also the emotional toll on caregivers and the logistical safety issues to address.

The doctors and nurses of Chicago Med have close bonds with each other, and even a knack for connecting with patients, so it's no surprise that they'll have an "emotional toll" to deal with on top of everything else. With Ethan and April both working on the front lines, they'll have very valid reasons to worry about each other on top of everything else, and the Season 6 premiere will deliver complications for more characters as well.

Will's somewhat ill-advised relationship with Hannah will seemingly hit some obstacles, and Dr. Charles will have to clear the air with his young daughter due to recent events. The de facto Season 5 finale saw Will deciding to trust Hannah, and Dr. Charles learned that teenage girls can be trickier than he thought. Season 6 will evidently pick up on those elements. What Season 6 won't be able to deliver right off the bat is a big crossover. Andrew Schneider explained:

Protocols to make filming as safe as possible during the pandemic prevent us from doing a major crossover early in the season. Hopefully, we'll be able to do one in the new year.

One Chicago usually delivers one mega-crossover at some point in the fall TV season involving Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago P.D., with last fall's "Infection" event actually featuring a quarantine. Unsurprisingly, COVID protocols mean that large-scale crossovers won't be happening in the foreseeable future, but Andrew Schneider revealed that there's hope for 2021. Chicago Med also received a huge three-season renewal while Season 5 was still airing, so the show isn't going anywhere in the next few years.

Besides, Chicago Fire showrunner Derek Haas revealed that Med and P.D. characters will appear in the Fire Season 9 premiere, so One Chicago has still found ways for smaller crossovers. My money is via Zoom calls, but Zoom is definitely better than nothing! Med also has plenty going on without crossovers. Co-showrunner Diane Frolov teased where Natalie and Crockett stand on their relationship, following their unexpected bonding in Season 5:

They will continue to grow ever closer as the new season progresses.

Natalie was instrumental in helping Crockett escape at least one part of his past from New Orleans at the end of Season 5, and that evidently wasn't the end of their bond. According to Diane Frolov, they'll continue to get closer in Season 6. That said, Frolov and Andrew Schneider revealed earlier this year that Crockett's past in New Orleans will continue to affect his relationships, "particularly with Natalie."

Of course, this raises the question of the future of Manstead: do Will and Natalie have a shot of getting back together? For the time being, their storylines (and relationships) seem to be taking them in different directions. In fact, Will is going to be a major part of a new plot involving a new character, played by Tehmina Sunny.

The Pandora actress will recur in Season 6 as Dr. Sabeena Virani, who will approach Will about leading a clinical trial for a new medication. Co-showrunner Diane Frolov shared what makes him appealing to Sabeena and the clinical trial:

His passion, his dedication and his doggedness.

Say what you will about Will and some of the decisions he's made over the five seasons and counting of Chicago Med so far, but there's no denying his passion! Even if he won't be hanging out with his brother over on Chicago P.D. any time soon, he'll have plenty to keep him busy. All things considered, it sounds like Chicago Med fans have a lot to look forward to in seeing how the One Chicago show handles COVID and how life goes on despite the pandemic.

Be sure to tune in to NBC on Wednesday, November 11 at 8 p.m. ET to catch the Season 6 premiere of Chicago Med. Stick around NBC for the rest of the night for the Chicago Fire Season 9 premiere at 9 p.m. ET and the Chicago P.D. Season 8 premiere at 10 p.m. ET. For more of what's on the way in the coming weeks, check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule!

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. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. 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).