Historically, the middle of May is when the major broadcast networks figure out what shows to bring back for the upcoming fall season and what underperforming shows to cancel. We’re still waiting on news of a few stragglers, but we’ve got a mostly complete picture of what Chicago television will look like in a few months.
Please note that we’re only talking about the major broadcast channels like NBC and CBS. We’re not talking about cable networks like Showtime whose new show “The Chi” is currently filming around the city or internet based networks like Netflix where season 2 of “Easy” has been all but confirmed at this point. Those networks generally operate on their own timetable.
So, did your favorite Chicago centric TV show get the boot or is it coming back? Let’s take a look and find out. In alphabetical order, they’re listed below.
Don’t worry if you don’t know what this show was. You honestly didn’t miss much.
“APB” was the story of Justin Kirk, a rich white Elon Musk / Tony Stark-esque technocrat who decides to effectively buy and run a Chicago police precinct as some sort of social experiment after his black friend is gunned down in the city’s southside. Once installed as the de facto leader of a district of police officers, he outfits them with all sorts of cutting edge gadgetry such as stun guns, protective Iron Man inspired body armor, and weaponized drones. Because, according to “APB,” do you know what the people who shot Laquan Mcdonald 16 times desperately need? More drones, deadlier weapons, and less accountability.
The show opened to low ratings and only got worse as the weeks went on. According to Deadline, It was quietly cancelled late last week. It won’t be missed.
Dick Wolf, who may or may not use the iconic “Law & Order” sound effect as his phone’s ringtone, has found a new cinematic home in Chicago these last few years. We may be critical that the One Chicago shows seem to take place in a conceptualized idea of the city rather than Chicago itself, but we have to admit that the shows are pretty successful. “Chicago Fire” is the second most watched drama on NBC, losing only to “This is Us.”
With that said, it’s not a surprise that “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago P.D.” were both renewed for a full season. “Chicago Med” is getting a partial midseason order and probably won’t come back until at least November.
(NBC, still in talks)
The newest of the One Chicago shows is also the most uncertain. On one hand, it has a strong cast and very passionate following who got #RenewChicagoJustice trending on Twitter over the weekend. On the other hand, it has the lowest ratings of all the Dick Wolf Chicago shows.
According to Deadline, NBC is still in talks about the show’s future with a decision to come in “a couple of more weeks.” We will keep you updated as we learn more.
Filmed in Chicago but taking place in NYC, “Empire” is coming back for a fourth season of wonderfully absurd music industry telenovela theatrics and Taraji P. Henson flawlessness.
Based on the 70s horror classic of the same name, “The Exorcist” has been renewed for a second season. A critical darling, the new TV adaptation was filmed at locations throughout the city and is a psychological thriller about modern demonic possessions. Geena Davis, Ben Daniels, and Alfonso Herrera are all scheduled to return.
The Real O’Neals
Dan Savage’s latest project is over.
Loosely based on misadventures of discovering his sexual identity as a gay teenager growing up in a working class Catholic family on the city’s southside, “The Real O’Neals” was smartly written and struck a nerve with LGBT youth who craved positive representation on screen.
It was also no stranger to controversy as right-wing groups protested and tried to get it removed from the air throughout the show’s tenure. Noah Galvin, who played the show’s main character, also blasted Hollywood’s glass closet in an interview with Vulture and probably made a few enemies in the process. In the end, ABC says that the ratings weren’t high enough to keep the show going and cancelled it. A shame.
Based on a work by playwright Tracey Letts that was staged by Steppenwolf in 2008, “Superior Donuts” focuses on the working relationship between an aging white hippie and a young black man that work together in a donut shop in a rapidly gentrifying Uptown. The major issue is that the jokes are lazy at best while nonsensical at worst. In the Chicago Reader’s review of the TV show, they shared one of them.
“It’s so weird the Cubs are so great now, huh? . . . Thank God for the Bulls, the Bears, and Rahm Emanuel.”
That was, of course, paradoxically followed by a completely earnest laugh track to signify that what you heard was hilarious just in case you couldn’t figure it out. “Superior Donuts” is rather dopey, like most CBS sitcoms, but it still did well enough to get renewed for a second season.