Chicago Fire season 7: A closer look at the schedule

CHICAGO FIRE -- Pictured: "Chicago Fire" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal)
CHICAGO FIRE -- Pictured: "Chicago Fire" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal) /

What does Chicago Fire season 7’s schedule tell us about the new season? Look at how Chicago Fire fits into NBC’s schedule and its competition.

It’s almost time for a new season of Chicago Fire, 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 Fire season 4, and seeing what it can tell us about the upcoming season.

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First of all, let’s rejoice: this year Chicago Fire season 7 will not be preempted by either NFL football or the Winter Olympics!

The former isn’t happening and the NFL does not regularly play on Wednesdays, so fans do not have to worry about any long periods without a new episode this season. (NBC isn’t even airing football during the week this season.)

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So, on to the actual time slot. Chicago Fire moves to Wednesdays at 9 p.m., which is a day before and an hour earlier than it aired last year.

It’s somewhat of a homecoming, because the very first season aired Wednesdays at 10 p.m. all the way back in the 2012-2013 season. And it’s also the easiest time slot for any of the three One Chicago series this fall.

Here’s why: for one, NBC has solved the problem of Chicago Fire‘s disastrous lead-ins. No longer is its audience people who have just come off watching two straight hours of sitcoms.

For two, the 9 p.m. hour is the softest hour on the Wednesday primetime schedule. Firehouse 51 will be competing with new seasons of CBS‘s SEAL Team and FOX‘s sort of Empire spin-off Star. While the former was a solid performer last year, it’s still in its second season (compared to Fire in its seventh) and Star has become a middling performer for FOX.

The other series in the same hour won’t have much effect. ABC’s Modern Family won’t have much crossover audience with Fire, and The CW has a new series called All-American, but that network doesn’t compete with NBC in terms of total audience.

So Chicago Fire season 7 doesn’t have any truly tough competition, and maybe that’s just what the show needs. Ratings for the sixth season were often among the weakest of the three shows, although how much of that was due to preemptions/poorly matched lead-ins, we’ll find out this fall.

But if you’re a Fire fan, you should feel good about the potential for a comeback season this fall.

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For the latest Chicago Fire season 7 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago Fire category at One Chicago Center.