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2015 Fall Culture Preview

Chicago on Fire

Flames! Crime! And now, blood! This fall, Dick Wolf, the reigning producer of procedural dramas, expands his NBC empire with the Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. spinoff Chicago Med, also shot here.

The Scoop

Chicago Med doesn’t premiere until November 17, but there’s already plenty of drama both on and off the screen.


  • Showrunner Andrew Dettmann left after only three months.  Boardwalk Empire executive producers Andrew Schneider and Diane Frolov replaced him. 
  • After Melissa George, the star of the new NBC drama Heartbreaker, got pregnant, the network bumped Chicago Med up from its midseason premiere to November.
  • Laurie Holden of The Walking Dead was originally set to play a lead ER doc but left in August for “family” reasons.
  • The show dodged Governor Rauner’s June cut on an Illinois tax credit by presenting itself as a “follow-on” of Chicago P.D. and Chicago Fire.


  • Look for a potential crossover romance between Med’s April Sexton and Fire’s Kelly Severide (sorry, team Linseride). 
  • Expect a beef between trauma surgeon Will Halstead and hospital head Sharon Goodwin, sparked during Halstead’s interview for the job.
  • Several episodes will revolve around controversial subjects, including genetics and surrogacy.
  • A four-way crossover episode with Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will air in February.

Med’s Cast

(In alphabetical order)

Yaya DaCosta (The Butler) plays April Sexton, everyone’s favorite nurse.

Torrey DeVitto (One Tree Hill) plays a pregnant pediatrician whose scrubs are full of secrets.

Rachel DiPillo (Jane the Virgin) plays Sarah Reese, a chilly intern with mommy issues.

Colin Donnell (The Affair) plays Connor Rhodes, the steamy brood to Halstead’s blond brawn.

Nick Gehlfuss (Shameless) plays Will Halstead, the hospital McDreamy with a hero complex.

S. Epatha Merkerson (Law & Order) plays Sharon Goodwin, the chief administrator and hospital mother bear.

Oliver Platt (The Big C) stars as Daniel Charles, the avuncular head of psychiatry.

Brian Tee (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) plays a militaristically mum surgeon.


3 Questions for Oliver Platt

What’s your character like?

He’s chief psychiatrist in this general hospital, and he maybe took this job that has an administrative aspect that doesn’t interest him. What he’s interested in is getting mental health support to people who don’t have $400 an hour. The sad fact is that a disturbing majority of people who walk into emergency rooms are psychiatric patients with nowhere to go.

Have you based the character on anybody?

Dick Wolf claims he based the character on me—I don’t know how I should feel about that.

How do you feel about filming in Chicago?

For me, it’s the great American city. I live in New York and spend a lot of time in L.A., but I think of Chicago as a capital of that “great plains” America. It’s this cultural hub that’s incredibly unpretentious. Great food. Great sports. What’s not to like? Let’s talk in a year.

Photos: (DaCosta, Merkerson) Chris Haston/NBC; (DeVitto) Andreas Branch/AP; (DiPillo) Peter Brooker/Rex Features via AP; (Donnell, Gehlfuss, Platt, Tee) Paul Drinkwater/NBC
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