Apparently, NBC Has A Good Thing Going With These Crossover Events

NBC has a Dick Wolf-heavy lineup on Wednesday nights, and yesterday the network aired a crossover event connecting Chicago Fire with Chicago P.D., which is usual, but also Law and Order: SVU, which is unusual. The three-way crossover was highly advertised by the network leading up to the big event, and apparently the bid paid off: NBC claimed the two highest dramas in the ratings last night.

Here’s how it went down. At 8 p.m. NBC aired a crossover repeat of Tuesday’s Chicago Fire, which featured Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson heading to Chi-town to look into a new case that reminds her of another, older case. Then at 9 p.m. kicked off two brand new crossover episodes during the Chicago P.D. and Law and Order: SVU timeslots. Those episodes followed the teams as they looked into the case, settled on a suspect and had to deal with the ramifications of a character getting kidnapped and killed. All of the traveling and intersecting of the show's characters worked for fans. The Chicago Fire repeat crushed with a 1.6 rating, and P.D. and SVU were the two strongest episodes of the night, bringing in a 1.8 rating and a 2.0 rating, respectively.

According to Deadline, both Chicago P.D. and Law and Order: SVU were impressively up double digits in the ratings from the week prior. The Chicago police-based drama was up a whopping 20% and the New York-based drama was up 11%.

Initially, I wasn’t sure if the huge gamble with three respective crossover episodes would pay off. After all Fire and P.D. have characters intersect all the time with little fanfare. However, clearly the numbers don’t lie. Fans really ate the whole cross over up, and if the writing teams can figure out a way to get Benson back to Chicago for a story arc in the future, I can see this sort of plot being successful again. Of course, now that Wolf and co. have spinoff series Chicago Med in the works, if the medical drama does go to series, it should be a lot easier to get Fire, P.D. and Med to crossover, since the geographical logistics are less of an issue.

While the crossover was a big success for NBC, Chicago P.D. and Law and Order: SVU were beat by two of ABC’s comedies. It’s hard to compete with Modern Family, which nabbed a 2.9 rating, but The Goldbergs also did well, bringing in a 2.1 rating last night. So, team ABC put up some solid numbers as well. Still, NBC should be pretty pleased about being the highest-rated dramas of the night. It’s no small feat to have higher ratings than CBS, especially on a night that boasts Criminal Minds.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.