The One Chicago schedule isn’t as bad as it looks

ONE CHICAGO -- Pictured: "One Chicago" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal)
ONE CHICAGO -- Pictured: "One Chicago" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal) /

One Chicago fans are frustrated by reruns of Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and Chicago Med stacking up, but the One Chicago schedule is more than it seems.

With another week of reruns on the schedule, One Chicago viewers are getting frustrated with their favorite TV franchise. It feels like NBC has mixed things up more this season than in past seasons—but is that actually what’s happening?

Fans certainly have reasons to be annoyed with how the shows are being aired. The franchise is currently in its second consecutive week of reruns, and this isn’t the first time that new episodes have been missing since the season began in September.

As we’ve discussed on this site before, a certain amount of repeats are standard practice for all broadcast TV shows, because they have longer seasons and nowhere near enough episodes to fill them.

On broadcast TV, the fall season typically begins in September and runs through May. The current season started on Sept. 26 and is projected to end on May 22; that’s 34 weeks, but NBC only has 22 episodes. That means there are 12 weeks where the network has to find something else to do, and that something is usually a rerun.

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But if you thought this season felt off, you’re right.

During Chicago Fire season 6 last season, there were only two weeks where a rerun aired (on Dec. 28 and March 15).

There were also only two extended periods without an episode—between Nov. 2 and Dec. 28, and then again from Feb. 1 to March 1.

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By comparison, Chicago Fire season 7 isn’t over yet and there have already been five reruns (on Dec. 26, Jan. 2, Jan. 30, March 6 and March 13).

There’s also been three breaks in the schedule: between Nov. 14 and Dec. 5, again between Dec. 5 and Dec. 26, and the current gap from Feb. 27 until the shows are expected to return on March 27.

So that’s three extra reruns, and one additional hiatus, compared to last season. But that also isn’t the full story.

Fans may remember that the last One Chicago season was disjointed because of NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics. So while there were less total breaks and reruns, the shows were actually off the air longer.

Last season, Chicago Fire was absent for one seven-week break (between Nov. 2 and Dec. 28) and one three-week hiatus (Feb. 1 to March 1); that’s a total of ten weeks. This season, though there’s been three different pauses in the schedule, they only amount to seven total weeks without a new episode.

The caveat is that the current season isn’t over yet, so it’s possible that there could be extra delays around the corner that would push the 2018-2019 season past its predecessor. But as it stands now, what we’re seeing is actually better than what happened last season. There have been more stoppages, but they still amount to less time off the air compared to the Olympics delays!

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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.