Chicago P.D. Vet Jon Seda On Sticking With NBC For 'Blockbuster' New Show La Brea

For TV audiences who wholeheartedly adore larger-than-life mystery dramas in the vein of Lost and Manifest, then NBC's La Brea will be right up your alley. Literally centering around a gigantic sinkhole that opens up in the midst of L.A., La Brea puts its main characters through some stressful and disbelief-bucking situations, with Chicago P.D. veteran Jon Seda serving as one of those leads. Seda stars as Dr. Samuel Velez, but he won't be seen walking down hospital halls, as he's one of the misplaced Angelenos on the other end of the sinkhole.

When CinemaBlend spoke with the La Brea cast ahead of the series premiere, I asked Jon Seda about going back into Hero Mode for La Brea after his extended run on Chicago P.D. (and other One Chicago series), and here's how he responded:

What's up, One Chicago? Yeah! Yeah, I had great time with Chicago P.D. and love-love-love playing Detective Dawson. So yeah, I think it's great to still be with NBC, and we're on the night before One Chicago. So you got La Brea on Tuesday and you got One Chicago on Wednesday! Yeah, it's great, and La Brea is just something that to me is the epitome of a Hollywood project. I mean, it's just like a blockbuster. Like, you'd go to theater to see a big blockbuster movie; this is that in a series. And for me, [I love] the mix of sci-fi and the adventure, the mystery, the drama of it, the action.

Having seen the pilot episode myself, I can vouch for the blockbuster nature of La Brea, from the sequence featuring the sinkhole's creation to the massive sets and effects on display elsewhere. There are certainly elements that make it very apparently a broadcast network show, but as far as sheer scale goes, La Brea is definitely aiming high.

While it's not immediately clear from previews what fans can expect to see from Jon Seda's first big TV role after bidding (hopefully temporary) farewell to his Chicago P.D. detective Antonio Dawson, I don't think anybody out there is expecting to see Seda's character being a pushover weakling. That said, the usual normalcies of everyday life aren't exactly easy to fall back on after one has fallen into a mysterious hole, not for Dr. Sam nor the characters portrayed by Seda's co-stars.

natalie zea, jon seda and chike okonkwo in nbc's la brea pilot

(Image credit: nbc press)

Jon Seda shined some light on what fans can expect from his character as compared to Det. Dawson, as he also hyped up everyone else in the cast. In his words:

This character is someone that, to me, has little pieces of some other characters that I've portrayed in the past on different things. You know, it has pieces of Antonio in regards to how he, like you mentioned, wants to help and kind of really be a part of that survival instinct, and just gathering. But it is very different. It's another incredible great cast. The characters are the heart of the story. So for me, I'm just fortunate to be able to work with an entirely different cast, a great cast, and on a really cool show.

A show based on a wild concept like La Brea's almost definitely needs to have audience-wooing characters, since it's so much easier to poke holes in sci-fi plots when there's no emotional involvement. So it's a good thing creator David Appelbaum (NCIS: New Orleans, The Mentalist) lined up a cast boasting actors like Jon Seda, Justified and The Unicorn vet Natalie Zea, and Night Shift's Eoin Mackey, among others.

So don't forget to jump into La Brea with both feet on Tuesday, September 28, at 9:00 p.m. ET, only on NBC. And hit up our 2021 Fall TV schedule to see when all the other new and returning shows will be popping up.

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.