Why are stars missing from Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago P.D. episodes? Here’s your answers

Jessy Schram Red Carpet
Jessy Schram is featured on the Chicago Med cast as Dr. Hannah Asher. Pic credit: ©ImageCollect.com/carrie-nelson

Fans of One Chicago tuning in to new episodes of Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago P.D. have noticed something odd.

Some fan-favorite characters have been missing episodes, leading to questions about their futures on the shows.

It might surprise some viewers that this is all part of a plan behind the scenes at One Chicago.

It’s expensive to film primetime dramas with large ensemble casts. Each One Chicago show relies on many people to film new episodes.

Chicago Fire has the biggest cast of the group, with many characters working out of Firehouse 51. And the salaries add up quickly.

Chicago P.D. fans also likely noticed that the writers used excuses about why characters are missing each week – like training, furloughing, or spending time with a family member. That’s in the plans.

The One Chicago cast members are paid a salary for each episode they appear in. It means the actor or actress isn’t paid for an episode they aren’t in.

It’s different from a baseball or basketball player, where they are paid for a full season, no matter how many games they appear in.

So when Taylor Kinney (he plays Kelly Severide on Chicago Fire) or Tracy Spiridakos (she plays Detective Hailey Upton on Chicago P.D.) are absent from an episode, that installment becomes less expensive.

The production team needed to cut costs on episodes this year, and rather than cutting everyone’s salary per episode, they decided to cut the number of episodes some people appear in.

Chicago P.D. has the easier way to do it, with the focus shifting from Intelligence working as a group in each episode to having one character be the focal point. The method has been met with a mixed response from fans.

It’s more difficult for a firefighter or paramedic to be absent from Chicago Fire, but the writers came up with some ideas on how to make that work.

More news from One Chicago

Even though some stars could be missing from upcoming episodes, much new content is left to debut for the One Chicago shows this spring.

Here’s info on when Chicago P.D. returns from hiatus and what the first new episode will entail.

Kara Killmer also revealed what’s next for her. Kara ended her time playing Sylvie Brett on Chicago Fire when her character married firefighter Matthew Casey (played by Jesse Spencer).

For his part, Jesse posted a heartfelt goodbye message to Kara.

Previous episodes of Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago P.D. are available for streaming on Peacock.

Chicago Med airs at 8/7c, Chicago Fire airs at 9/8c, and Chicago P.D. airs at 10/9c Wednesdays on NBC.

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