One Chicago reruns won’t be on NBC schedule next week after all

One Chicago franchise 2019-2020 season key art featuring the casts of Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and Chicago Med. Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC.
One Chicago franchise 2019-2020 season key art featuring the casts of Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and Chicago Med. Photo Credit: Courtesy of NBC. /

One Chicago fans won’t be happy as NBC has pulled its planned repeats of Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and Chicago Med off next Wednesday’s schedule.

NBC is keeping the One Chicago franchise off its schedule for its entire winter hiatus.

After originally saying that fans would be able to watch repeats of Chicago Med, Chicago Fire and Chicago PD this coming Wednesday, Dec. 18, the network has reversed course and removed those reruns from its primetime schedule.

Instead, the Dec. 18 schedule now shows three reruns of the Ellen DeGeneres holiday-themed reality TV series, Ellen’s Greatest Night of Giveaways.

That show aired this week and features the talk show host and celebrity friends, such as Melissa McCarthy and Jennifer Aniston, giving out prizes to studio audience members and viewers in the spirit of the holidays.

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It’s been a good ratings performer for NBC, with its Dec. 11 airing bringing in just under 6 million people watching live.

But will it attract as many viewers in repeats? And why re-broadcast a special that’s going to be only a week old when people see it again?

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Most importantly, why can’t the One Chicago series get some attention in repeats?

The schedule change adds to NBC’s history of showing no reruns, or very few reruns, during the times when the One Chicago franchise is on its breaks.

That choice has been a bit of a head-scratcher, especially over the last two seasons when the network has really promoted the franchise incredibly hard and turned it into one of the most successful pieces of their primetime lineup.

If it’s about ratings, both Chicago Fire and Chicago Med routinely posted numbers higher than the Ellen DeGeneres special when they were new; while reruns would have a smaller audience, it’s not hard to fathom that they could still pull in a solid 5-6 million people, and Chicago PD wouldn’t be far behind.

And this isn’t standard network procedure; Dick Wolf’s other series, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, aired reruns regularly this summer. (Although the network has also pulled two planned SVU reruns that were scheduled for December.)

Many TV networks have thrown out the idea of repeats and chosen to focus instead on airing new shows year-round, especially as they compete with streaming services for viewers. But there can still be value in reairing episodes; this week’s NCIS rerun was still one of TV’s top-rated shows.

Especially since the One Chicago franchise is such a big part of NBC’s success, it’d be nice to see it get a week or two of repeats over the break, even if it’s on a quieter night like a Saturday.

It would give fans (and potential new viewers!) an opportunity to see episodes someplace other than Hulu, which requires a subscription. And why not show off what’s become a crown jewel of the network?

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