It has been a long time coming, but on Wednesday the Chicago Fire season 9 premiere is set to be here! While we know that the One Chicago universe will feature the pandemic in some shape or form, rest assured — this is still the same Firehouse 51 you remember. The familiar tone and humor will be there, and there are some exciting stories coming up for several different characters. Take Stella and Severide, or even Herrmann and Mouch.
In order to preview all of this further, who better to go to than executive producer Derek Haas? Below, the showrunner takes us through the challenges of creating a big-budget TV show during these difficult times, and also his approach to several different stories.
CarterMatt – These past several months have been more than challenging, to say the least. What has the process been like trying to break story and figure out specific arcs, not knowing how events in this country are going to evolve, let alone when production could start or when the show could even premiere?
Derek Haas – Well, having a writer’s room on zoom is not all it’s cracked up to be. I’d much rather be meeting with all these great writers in person every day. I miss the magic of a room when it’s really cooking. That said, I’m really happy with where we are breaking the season. We are trying to show the Chicago Fire Department in November 2020 and what it’s like to be a first responder out in the real world.
I know you had a lot of stories planned out at the end of season 8 that were unable to film. How many of those stories still remain a part of the show now?
I’d say about half of them. Once you have a second to breathe and rethink, you change some things around that you would have done differently had we kept going in the spring. I’m glad… the show will be better for it.
You’ve obviously got such heavy subject matter to draw from now with the pandemic, but Fire has long been the most lighthearted of the One Chicago shows with some of its comedic side plots. Has there been a real effort to ensure the tone of the show is still similar to the past?
We’re pretty much making the same show we always made. We didn’t want to do a different Chicago Fire all of a sudden.
Where are we picking up with some of the Chicago Fire couples? How will Severide and Stella be dealing with the world around them, and are we potentially getting closer to something more for Casey and Brett?
Severide and Stella will be taking things even further in Season 9. Casey and Brett… they’re just friends. Right? Right???
Beyond current events, is there any specific storyline that you are excited for people to see?
Yes, a few things. One… Stella trying to get a pandemic-era Girls on Fire back up and running and how that effort lands on Boden. Also, there will be a new look for Molly’s as Herrmann and Mouch are faced the challenges of owning a bar in 2020.
Oh, and a giant fire in episode 901.
What do you want to see the most when it comes to Chicago Fire season 9?
Be sure to share right now in the comments! Also, remember here to stick around for some other news on the series. (Photo: NBC.)