Wednesday, 10 p.m., NBC
Series premiere. Dick Wolf shows multiply like rabbits. He created the New York-based “Law & Order” in 1990, and that drama itself launched four spinoffs. Since “Chicago Fire” debuted in 2012, his Windy City franchise grew to include two other shows, “Chicago PD” and “Chicago Med.”
Now Wolf’s fourth Midwestern incarnation — the courtroom procedural “Chicago Justice” — will launch with a three-show crossover Wednesday night.
The action starts on “Chicago Fire” at 8 p.m. when a massive blaze in a converted factory leaves dozens injured or killed — including a relative of “Chicago PD” investigator Alvin Olinsky (Elias Koteas), whose colleagues search for the arsonist responsible on that show at 9 p.m.
On “Chicago Justice” at 10 p.m., prosecutor Peter Stone (Philip Winchester) — the son of Manhattan DA Ben Stone (Michael Moriarty) of Wolf’s “Law & Order” — sets out to convince judge and jury that the alleged perpetrator belongs behind bars. Jon Seda co-stars as investigator Antonio Dawson, a character created for “Chicago Fire” and later spun off to “Chicago PD.” (“Chicago Med” will not have its own crossover episode, though characters will appear on the other shows.)
The Post recently spoke with franchise executive producer Peter Jankowski from his LA office.
When “Chicago Justice” was OK’d to go to series, did you think a crossover was crucial to introduce the show?
I wouldn’t say crucial, but it certainly was one of the first things we came up with. It’s opportunistic; it makes sense. I’m sure you probably heard Dick’s metaphor for what the different shows represent on the human body: “Chicago PD” is the fist. “Med” is the heart. “Justice” is the brain. And “Fire” is the crotch. [laughs] So each show sort of exists in its own space and they complement each other.
Does your blood pressure spike when Dick Wolf says “crossover”?
I think everybody’s blood pressure, including the actors’, spikes, but I don’t think it’s a lot of anxiety. Some of it’s enthusiasm because these things really play well. We’re still working on this one up to the last minute, and there’s so many moving pieces. It’s so much fun to watch these guys interact. The actors cross over and lend story lines to the other shows. Yeah, it’s a lot of stress — no question. People work their butts off. But it’s a good high blood pressure. Knock on wood. [laughs]
It’s a lot of stress — no question … But it’s a good high blood pressure. Knock on wood.
Most network procedural episodes are about 43 minutes long, which you’ve basically tripled for this story. How is it actually put together?
All the writers sit in a room and beat out the story, and then each show does what is unique to each show. “Fire” is probably more action and spectacle. “PD” is more investigatory and a little more brutal. “Justice” has the intellectual dexterity needed to bring the bad guy to justice and the issues around that. The team works well together, so without that we would have chaos.
What logistical hoops did you have to jump through?
The beauty is we are in the same space, so, all four shows, you could throw a baseball between them. Some of the heavy lifting is eliminated just by proximity. But it’s a tough thing to do because you have an actor, in this case Elias Koteas, who has a strong storyline … It’s a little bit of a dance trying to get him back and forth between the shows. But it juices everybody up.
With Dick there is always potential for doing pretty much anything. Dick loves to use the term “Dickens’ London” — where the novels cross over. That’s what he’s doing in Chicago.
What was Jon Seda’s reaction when he was told his character, Antonio Dawson, would spin off from “Chicago PD” for a second time?
I could see him jumping from show to show to show for 10 years. What’s great is when he moved, right off the bat, he brought a real maturity to “Justice.” He kind of became a bedrock of that show.
— Eric Hegedüs
Monday, 8 p.m., Fox
Carter (Corey Hawkins) and Grimes (Charlie Hofheimer) make a deal with the leader of a smuggling ring. Meanwhile, Amira (Kathryn Prescott) receives an unexpected guest.
Wednesday, 10 p.m., CBS
Sadie (Katherine Heigl) asks Billy (Steven Pasquale) about new evidence in the case against him, but his explanation is not what she expected to hear. Meanwhile, Cameron (Laverne Cox) and Tiffany (Dreama Walker) defend a psychic accused of larceny, with surprising results. Also starring Elliott Gould (below).
Sunday, 10 p.m., Showtime
Axe (Damian Lewis) spars with a hedge fund manager and initiates a new plan to hurt the competition. Meanwhile, Chuck (Paul Giamatti) deploys his team to find a case that might save his career. Wendy (Maggie Siff) faces tough questions.
Monday, 10 p.m., NBC
Series premiere. The murder of Bryan Mills’ (Clive Standen) sister prompts him to plot revenge against cartel boss Carlos Meija (Louis Ferreira). A secret US intelligence agency, led by Christina Hart (Jennifer Beals), uses Bryan as bait to capture Mejia, and recruits him to join their team. Based on the hit film.
Sunday, 9 p.m., HBO
Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) gets bad news about her community-theater production of “Avenue Q.” Nathan (James Tupper) and Ed (Adam Scott) discuss their wives. Jane (Shailene Woodley) frets about her son.
Saturday, 11 p.m., TCM
What better way to prepare for “Feud,” which explores the rivalry between Bette Davis (below) and Joan Crawford, than to watch the film that inspired the series? The plot: Psycho aging child star Baby Jane Hudson (Davis) keeps her crippled sister Blanche (Crawford) prisoner. When their maid (Maidie Norman) tries to set Blanche free, Jane realizes her own evil potential.
Thursday, 10 p.m., CBS
Deputy Chief Lockhart (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) opens an investigation into a shooting which could cost Frank (Bill Paxton) his badge, forcing Kyle (Justin Cornwell) to help Frank clear his name or risk losing the one man who could help him solve his father’s murder.
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