What order should I watch the One Chicago shows?

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

Shared universes are nothing new on television. There are tons of franchises that like to blur the line between different shows, whether it means having crossover events or making references to elements from other shows. One Chicago is a perfect example.

The thing that’s thrilling about shared universes is the same thing that can make them tricky to navigate. While it’s fun to discover all the fun details that showrunners and writers put in, it can be tough to determine what order things happen, and whether watching the shows a certain way is leading to you missing out.

Well, fear no more, because here’s our breakdown of how to watch the One Chicago franchise.

What is the One Chicago shows timeline?

Chicago Fire is the starting point. You can watch the first two seasons up to the episode “You Will Hurt Him” and be able to follow the exact continuity of the show. What changes after that is the introduction of Chicago PD, which premiered the same night as “You Will Hurt Him” with a pilot episode.

From there, the best way to consume the entire One Chicago timeline is to alternate between Fire and PD episodes, given that Fire airs the same evening as PD. Sometimes there will be cameos by some of the cast members, or easter eggs that allude to the storyline that happened in the other show.

Then there’s Med, which aired its pilot episode (“Derailed”) the same night that PD aired “Forget My Name” and Fire aired “Regarding This Wedding”. The key is to alternate between these three shows consistently, but of course, there’s more to account for given the expansiveness of the franchise.

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There are a handful of Law & Order: SVU crossovers that occur throughout the early years of the One Chicago universe, and they affect the overall timeline. There’s also Chicago Justice, which only ran for a season but included crucial appearances from pre-established characters like Chicago PD stalwart Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda).

If you don’t want to comb through and figure out the time slot and release date for each show, so and watch the entire One Chicago franchise, then an IMDb user has graciously put together a huge master list to reference. It includes the exact order in which the shows should be watched, so you can binge all 564 released episodes in preparation for what’s to come.

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