The three shows of NBC's hit One Chicago block are finally returning after prematurely ending back in the spring, and Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago P.D. are all back in production to make their November premiere dates. Now, with less than a month left to wait before the doctors and nurses of Med, the firefighters and EMTs of Firehouse 51, and the cops of Intelligence are back in action on TV, it's time to consider some big new questions that need answers early in the 2020-2021 TV season.
While we could simply continue to ponder the same questions we've had since the finales back in April -- ranging from whether or not Will made the right call about Hannah on Med to how Fire will explain Foster's total absence to what's up with Upstead on P.D. -- let's instead take a look at questions that arise from the new details that have recently released this fall.
What Does Tehmina Sunny's New Character Mean For Halstead And Chicago Med?
Chicago Med ended without much of a bang in the spring due to the suspended seasons, but Season 6 is bringing in Tehmina Sunny of Pandora and NCIS fame to play a new character who could mix things up at Med. Deadline reports that Sunny was cast for an arc running for multiple episodes, in which she'll play Dr. Sabeena Virani. Sabeena is supervising a clinical trial for a new medication, and she wants Will Halstead to lead.
Considering Will seemed to be on solid ground with Hannah at the end of Season 5, we may be able to rule out Tehmina Sunny's Sabeena as a love interest, but it should be interesting to see how she approaches Will. Does she genuinely believe he's the right man for the job for altruistic reasons, or does she have some kind of agenda that she thinks a doctor known to go rogue would be the right man in charge? And will she stick around beyond her original arc?
What Will Foster's Replacement EMT Mean For Chicago Fire's Firehouse 51?
The cycle of new EMTs at Firehouse 51 will continue in Season 9 with Adriyan Rae of Vagrant Queen fame stepping into the ambulance vacancy left by Foster, who will presumably be returning to med school off-screen rather than jumping from Chicago Fire to Med. Rae will play Gianna Mackey, who is lovable despite a status as a troublemaker. Deadline describes Gianna as "charming, scrappy, fun, witty and good-natured," coming from a family of working-class parents. Tough and willing to stand up for others, she nevertheless keeps a sense of humor.
Adriyan Rae will be a series regular for Chicago Fire Season 9, so fans should see plenty of her. How will the rest of Firehouse 51 take to this newcomer? Foster was only around on Fire for two seasons, so Gianna probably won't have the same uphill battle replacing Foster as Foster did replacing Gabby Dawson, but what about Brett? She'll lose a partner, close friend, and roommate by losing Foster, and Foster had formed bonds within 51. Will Gianna's friendliness make her a welcome addition, despite the circumstances?
How Will Chicago P.D. Handle Lisseth Chavez's Departure As Rojas?
Chicago P.D. is losing a member of the team ahead of the new season as well. Unlike Chicago Fire with Foster, however, P.D. didn't have the time to set up her farewell. Lisseth Chavez won't be back as Vanessa Rojas, and has already landed a new show that films up in Vancouver and may not leave her a lot of time to drop back in on Intelligence... assuming she's not killed off. So how will Chicago P.D. handle Chavez's departure? The two obvious possibilities are that Intelligence will get back to business as usual with an odd number of cops working under Voight and/or Intelligence will bring somebody new into the fold.
The only confirmed newcomer to P.D. Season 8 so far won't be joining Intelligence, and I have a hard time imagining P.D. without an even number of cops to split up into partners. Will Intelligence move forward with five cops under Voight, or will Chicago P.D. add a sixth? Or does P.D. have something entirely different in mind with Rojas no longer being in the mix? And will poor Atwater ever get any love?! He could use it after how Season 7 ended!
Can Chicago Med, Fire, and P.D. Still Cross Over?
Perhaps the biggest One Chicago question of all is one that concerns all three shows: can they still cross over? One Chicago is arguably the biggest and most cohesive shared universe on television, with three closely connected shows airing in one block of primetime (and generating fantastic ratings for NBC). The shows traditionally air one mega crossover in the fall, a Chicago Fire/Chicago P.D. crossover in midseason, and plenty of mini crossovers throughout the year. With quarantine protocols in place, are crossovers even possible?
Chicago Med had to suspend production on Season 6 shortly after beginning due to a positive COVID-19 test, but that suspension didn't impact Chicago Fire Season 9 or Chicago P.D. Season 8. The easiest way for One Chicago to get back into business and stay in business might be to forego crossovers for now, or else go the route of Zoom calls between characters on the different series. Is the three-show crossover out of the question this season? What about the usual two-parter between Fire and P.D.? And can even the smaller crossovers happen?
We can only wait and see. The good news is that the temporary suspension halt on Chicago Med Season 6 hasn't resulted in NBC pushing back the premiere dates for any or all of the One Chicago series. Fans can expect all three shows to make their long-awaited returns to television on Wednesday, November 11, with Chicago Med at 8 p.m. ET, Chicago Fire at 9 p.m. ET, and Chicago P.D. closing the night out at 10 p.m. ET, all on NBC.