You can say what you want when it comes to “Chicago PD” not exactly being the most original show ever created, and it largely being an attempt for NBC to create another Dick Wolf franchise now that “Law & Order” is on its last legs with only one show left. But while neither version of this Windy City franchise is a smash hit, the debut of the latest addition to it suggests that we could be seeing a whole lot more of Chicago for at least the next year or two.
The premiere of “Chicago PD” on Wednesday scored a respectable 2.0 rating in the 18-49 demographic, which put it only behind “Law & Order: SVU” (2.1) on the night for NBC. While they should feel good about that, there are some major caveats to think about. “CSI” and “Nashville” were both in repeats, and it’s going to have a much bigger challenge moving forward. It’s easier to get good ratings when you don’t have any substantial competition. It’s a heck of a lot harder to get them when there are some other serious threats out there.
Still, this franchise has helped out the NBC drama department significantly. “Ironside” flopped with its debut last fall, and outside of these shows and “The Blacklist,” the network doesn’t have much else it can count on. While “SVU” has the potential to hit above a 2.0, it seems to ebb and flow based on whatever else is on for people to watch, and what sort of case that they have on the air. If it is more of an ordinary episode, then you are not going to see the ratings take off to anywhere near the same capacity.
Next week, we will have a much better understanding as to whether or not “Chicago PD” is something that will be arresting television for many weeks to come.
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