Chicago Med season 4: A closer look at the schedule

CHICAGO MED -- Pictured: "Chicago Med" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBC)
CHICAGO MED -- Pictured: "Chicago Med" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBC) /

What does Chicago Med season 4’s schedule tell us about the new season? Look at how Chicago Med fits into NBC’s schedule and its competition.

It’s almost time for a new season of Chicago Med, which means it’s also time to take a look at the show’s schedule and how that could impact what fans are about to see.

One Chicago fans know that a TV show’s schedule can have a significant effect on the show itself. Is it in a good time slot? A tough one? Does it have a proper lead-in? Is it scheduled in such a way that it’s going to be pre-empted during the season?

This is where we strive to answer those questions. We’re looking at the schedule for Chicago Med season 4, and seeing what it can tell us about the upcoming season.

The biggest news for Chicago Med is that NBC has brought the show back onto its fall schedule, after bumping it to midseason last year to make room for Dick Wolf‘s Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.

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That means the show will premiere at the same time as the other two One Chicago series—on the same day, in fact, thanks to the network’s new “Chicago Wednesdays” plan that moved all three shows onto the same night.

Chicago Med will lead off the evening at 8 p.m., moving from Tuesdays at 10 p.m., so it’s on a day later and two hours earlier than last season.

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In its new time slot, the show has some significant challenges ahead.

It will be airing directly opposite CBS‘s Survivor and FOX‘s Empire, both of which also premiere on Sept. 26.

Survivor has routinely won Thursday nights in total viewers, while Empire has maintained a strong showing amongst the adults 18-49 demographic that’s coveted by TV advertisers.

The most recent episodes (last season’s finales) saw Survivor being Thursday’s most-watched show with 7.31 million live viewers, while Empire was the most-watched show among the adults 18-49 group with a 1.6 share. Does that mean Chicago Med is in trouble?

The show will certainly have a challenge on its hands. For comparison, the Chicago Med season 3 finale had 5.49 million viewers and an 0.9 share in the demographic—so its current numbers are definitely behind those of its two new rivals.

Another potential issue to consider is that by moving to 8 p.m., the show is the lead-in for NBC’s entire Wednesday night. It doesn’t have another show in front of it to bring in viewers (like during season 2 when This Is Us aired before it). Med is batting lead-off, and that’s a big responsibility for any TV show.

But it will likely be able to beat the other two shows it airs opposite (ABC‘s The Goldbergs and The CW‘s Riverdale). If Chicago Med can at least be competitive with Empire, then it should be in good shape.

The question is, will NBC understand the show has serious competition and be okay if it comes in a steady third place on a tough night—or is it expecting Med to win, which could put the show in an equally tough spot come renewal time?

We’ll have to see, but there are definitely some hurdles in front of our favorite medical drama this fall, as well as the potential for it to seriously impress the network (and fans) if it’s able to rise to the occasion.

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For the latest Chicago Med season 4 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago Med category at One Chicago Center.