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NBC’s Chicago franchises have been doing quite well over at the network, so much so that three different shows have already been produced. Although you would think the channel might have to deal with the oversaturation of Chicago-set shows at some point, that day hasn’t happened, yet. In fact, NBC has the fourth series in the franchise Chicago Justice (formerly known as Chicago Law) in the works. This week, we learned veteran actor Carl Weathers is going to join the cast.
Adding Carl Weathers to anything is generally great news, but unfortunately we don’t know a ton about the gig yet. The casting news broke at Paleyfest (via Deadline) and confirms that Weathers will co-star in the series opposite Philip Winchester, Nazneen Contractor and Joelle Carter. We also know he’ll be playing a character named Mark Jeffries, who will be the State’s Attorney in the upcoming series. He’s described as having “admirable gravitas.”
Luckily, we won’t have too much longer to wait to see Chicago Justice come to fruition. Like the other spinoffs of Chicago Fire, Chicago Justice will be introduced via a backdoor episode, with characters from the upcoming series appearing in Episode 21 of Chicago P.D. It’s a strategy that worked for P.D. itself, as well as Chicago Med.
I was really excited when Philip Winchester landed a gig on this series, as he is great in Strike Back and too few people watched his NBC outing The Player this fall. I was even more excited when Justified actress Joelle Carter signed on. But Carl Weathers is the kind of actor who turns every role he touches into gold. The man hilariously played himself in Arrested Development a few years ago, and managed to make a brand new Toy Story franchise character stand out in Toy Story of Terror. He’s the perfect fit for this sort of gig and gives Chicago Justice a little more star power. Plus, he’s coming off of a recurring role on USA’s Colony.
NBC usually waits to see how the introduction to the characters does before the network makes a final decision regarding whether or not to move forward with the series. Episode 21 won’t air for several weeks, but we’ll let you know as soon as the network makes a decision about Chicago Justice. In the meantime, it’s important to point out that Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med have all been renewed, so if Justice moves forward, it will be the fourth show in the franchise on the schedule next TV season. Speaking of things turning into gold, Dick Wolf's certainly another man who can do that...
Photo courtesy of USA.