One Chicago producer Michael Brandt appears on ESPN podcast

CHICAGO P.D. -- "True or False" Episode 606 -- Pictured: Jason Beghe as Hank Voight -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "True or False" Episode 606 -- Pictured: Jason Beghe as Hank Voight -- (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC) /

Michael Brandt made a surprise appearance on ESPN’s The Russillo Show, talking the end of Chicago Justice and the Chicago PD ship that didn’t happen.

One Chicago producer Michael Brandt surprised ESPN listeners when he appeared on The Russillo Show this week, and dropped a few juicy tidbits about the franchise.

Brandt is friends with Ryen Russillo and called in to surprise former NBA coach and current ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy—who a self-professed fan of all three One Chicago shows.

At the end of the Jan. 3 episode, Brandt arrived to answer Van Gundy’s questions. And though he’s the co-creator of Chicago Fire, he ended up revealing interesting details about Chicago PD and the cancellation of Chicago Justice.

Van Gundy asked him “Why did Chicago Law not work?”, to which Brandt replied, “It was Chicago Justice, and if you ask me it didn’t work because NBC secretly did not want a fourth show.”

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“They kind of gave in because they weren’t sure how their other shows were going to fare,” Brandt theorized. “They knew Justice was probably going to work, so they gave it a shot.

“It did work, but then their other shows worked and ultimately, if you ask me, it’s well do we really want five Dick Wolf shows on the air. And so that one kind of got left behind, which is too bad.”

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Brandt was also a producer and writer on Chicago PD, and in discussing One Chicago’s crossovers, he mentioned a crossover ship between PD and Law & Order: SVU that never came to be.

“There was always the question of how we’re going to get Mariska Hargitay and Jason Beghe, Voight and Benson, together. That was always the writers’ room question, was will they ever sleep together?” he said. “It usually ended with a glass of whiskey instead.”

While a Benson and Voight relationship didn’t materialize, it’s interesting to know that the writers also considered a pairing that many fans have thought of and rooted for over the years!

Brandt stepped down as co-showrunner of Chicago Fire in 2017 to pursue other opportunities. You can listen to his full appearance on The Russillo Show by clicking here (iTunes required). The segment starts at roughly 1:01:55, near the end of the podcast.

Though he’s no longer part of the franchise, he made tremendous contributions across the board, and it’s a lot of fun to hear him give his perspective on these and other topics.

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