Over the past several years, CBS and the legendary Dick Wolf have managed to create an empire of connected series set in the same Chicago universe. As of Fall 2015, there were three such shows airing in key primetime slots. Well, good news has come out for any viewers who were afraid that they’d be down to only two hours of confirmed Chicago drama in the 2016 – 2017 television season: freshman series Chicago Med has officially been renewed for a second season, while longtime hit Law & Order: SVU was renewed for Season 18.
The renewal is not actually a huge surprise, but it is reassuring. Chicago Med hasn’t received stellar reviews since its premiere last October, but it has accumulated a solid fanbase and boasts the backing of Dick Wolf, so that is basically enough to all but guarantee renewal, especially now that Wolf has extended his overall deal with NBC for another five years.
The ratings haven’t exactly been terrible either. Chicago Med averages 11.3 overall viewers per episode, which would make the show a likely contender for renewal even without the Dick Wolf name behind it and the place in an ever-growing empire of Chicago shows.
Chicago Med is, however, the last of the Chicago series to receive the renewal notice, although it did already have its episode order boosted by five episodes earlier in the season. Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. had each been renewed for their fifth and fourth seasons, respectively.
With the Chicago franchise going stronger than ever thanks to the Med renewal, new project Chicago Law looks more likely than ever to move out of the conceptual stages and into production. There’s been no official word yet on the possible legal drama installment in the franchise moving significantly forward, but odds are good.
Still, we can’t help but hope that Chicago Law going into production would be the last new Chicago for a while. Impressive as the franchise has become for managing to connect multiple series logically, there are only so many avenues for procedurals based in Chicago before the universe would be stretched a bit too thin.
Chicago Med isn’t the only series to get some good news; long-running series Law & Order: SVU has been renewed for an eighteenth season, so any who haven’t already memorized the opening monologue will have yet another year to do so. Although none of the Chicago shows are direct spinoffs of SVU, the shows do exist in the same universe, so we can at least count on the fact that there probably won’t be a Chicago-based sex crimes drama. Even the Dick Wolf magic touch can only extend so far, and the success coming with the renewal of Chicago Med is a sign that original series are working well in the Chicago universe.
Chicago Med airs on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET on CBS. For a look at when to tune in to your other favorite shows, check out our schedule of midseason TV premiere dates.