Chicago PD season 6: A closer look at the schedule

CHICAGO P.D. -- Pictured: "Chicago P.D." Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal)
CHICAGO P.D. -- Pictured: "Chicago P.D." Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal) /

What does Chicago PD season 6’s schedule tell us about the new season? Look at how Chicago PD fits into NBC’s schedule and its competition.

It’s almost time for a new season of Chicago PD, 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 PD season 6, and seeing what it can tell us about the upcoming season.

Chicago PD is the sole One Chicago series that is not changing time slots this fall. By virtue of NBC choosing Wednesdays to create its new programming block, PD doesn’t have to go anywhere.

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Nor has it gone anywhere for a while. In essence, the show is like the Intelligence Unit—just doing its own thing, regardless of whatever is going on around it.

There’s a reason that the show’s ratings have been the most consistent of the One Chicago trio, and that is because the show is in the same place at the same time. Audiences know where to find it.

That should help it this season, too, because as the last show in the block it becomes an anchor. If you’ve tuned in for Chicago Med and Chicago Fire, you’re likely going to stay for Chicago PD.

That’s different from a show like Med, which doesn’t have a similar program (or anything at all, actually) in front of it to pull in extra viewers.

So it should be smooth sailing for the new season, right? Nothing’s changed, so the results should also be the same, right? Well, not exactly.

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While everything is business as usual at NBC, the schedule around that Wednesday 10 p.m. time slot has changed, and there could be some competition.

FOX and The CW show local news at that hour, so they’re out of the running. CBS‘s Criminal Minds is also returning for its 14th season, and the two share some crossover in audience, but they also went head-to-head last year and PD usually was able to beat it.

The real problem for Chicago PD season 6 is over on ABC, and it could potentially be a pretty big competitor.

Directly opposite PD is where ABC has picked to launch its new series A Million Little Things, which is one of the most anticipated new series this fall. And with good reason—its cast includes names like James Roday (Psych), Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica) and Ron Livingston (The Practice), with its writing and premise drawing comparisons to NBC’s critical darling This Is Us.

There’s a good chance that A Million Little Things is as good as advertised, and if it becomes that show everyone’s talking about like This Is Us did three seasons ago, ABC could seriously threaten Chicago PD.

Especially since that’s the only show that isn’t a dark crime drama on at that hour, ABC is in with a chance here. Plus, how many of those One Chicago fans angry at the death of Alvin Olinsky are still going to be upset next week and maybe won’t tune in? Audiences say things like that all the time and they sometimes don’t mean it, but Olinsky’s murder was an incredibly controversial plot twist so if PD loses some viewers, even a small fraction, it wouldn’t be a surprise.

That’s not to say you should worry about our favorite cop show. Especially with syndicated reruns about to be all over the place (thus raising awareness of the series), PD will continue to do what it does. But the landscape around it has changed, and that’s worth keeping an eye on.

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For the latest Chicago PD season 6 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago PD category at One Chicago Center.