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Why are the One Chicago shows already on winter hiatus?

Oliver Platt as Daniel Charles and Brian Tee as Ethan Choi help lead Chicago Med cas
Oliver Platt as Daniel Charles and Brian Tee as Ethan Choi help lead Chicago Med cast. Pic credit: Elizabeth Sisson/NBCUniversal

Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago P.D. returned to our television sets for two glorious weeks – and then the shows were gone.

It was a cruel tease by NBC, getting fans revved up with two impactful episodes this fall, only to then head out on the winter hiatus until 2021.

At the same time, it was all very understandable, as NBC would have preferred to have more episodes of some of the highest-rated dramas on all of television.

We recently reported on the spectacular ratings that the Wednesday night Chicago-based shows were drawing for NBC. It continues a trend of the network doing extremely well in overall viewership numbers and key demographic ratings each Wednesday evening.

But back to the issue of only getting two episodes for each of the shows so far this fall.

Why are the One Chicago shows already on winter hiatus?

Starting from the beginning, the primary reason that there were only two episodes each of Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago P.D. is the coronavirus pandemic.

There was a delay in the casts and crews of each show actually getting the green light to resume filming. At that point, a lot of effort had to go into making sure that the productions were safe for everyone involved.

There were some bumps along the way, even after production was restarted. Chicago Med and Chicago Fire each had people test positive for COVID-19. This led to a two-week shutdown of filming for each show.

The shows are all back in production now, but it is for work on episodes that won’t air until winter 2021. The next episodes of the shows are scheduled to debut on Wednesday, January 6. That’s less than a month away, and the pages are quickly falling off the calendar now.

Normal winter hiatus for One Chicago shows

Even with all the delays in creating content for NBC viewers to see again, fans need to remember that the winter hiatus for the One Chicago shows is typically pretty long.

Last year, the fall finales were on November 20 and the winter premieres were on January 8. That’s almost the exact same timeline as they are working with this year.

Once January finally arrives, NBC will be able to start rolling out a lot of new episodes of our favorite Wednesday night dramas. While it’s tough to wait for the return dates, especially during downtime for most television networks, at least there is some sun on the horizon.

January 6 will be here soon enough and then we can start talking about the relationships on Chicago Med, the calls on Chicago Fire, and the investigations on Chicago P.D. at the water cooler again.

Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago P.D. air Wednesday nights beginning at 8/7c on NBC.

Ryan DeVault

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