Is Chicago Fire coming back in the fall of 2023?

CHICAGO FIRE -- "Run Like Hell" Episode 1114 -- Pictured: (l-r) Alberto Rosende as Blake Gallo, Jake Lockett as Carver -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "Run Like Hell" Episode 1114 -- Pictured: (l-r) Alberto Rosende as Blake Gallo, Jake Lockett as Carver -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC) /

Chicago Fire keeps on plugging along. The show was renewed for another season by NBC, which means that we will be getting another slate of exciting episodes starting in the fall. At least, that was the initial plan. In the months since Fire was renewed, the WGA and SAG-AFTRA, the unions that represent the writers and actors, have gone on strike.

Until the demands of both unions are met, films and television shows throughout the country will not have any writers or actors to work on them. This means that Hollywood is effectively closed. It also means that Chicago Fire will not be returning in the fall of 2023.

Is Chicago Fire season 12 delayed?

Generally speaking, Chicago Fire and the rest of the One Chicago franchise will start production in July, and have a decent chunk of episodes finished by the time they premiere in September. This gives the actors time to shoot, and the writers time to develop scripts. Given that the actors just went on strike, however, we highly doubt that Fire will be able to meet its normal July schedule.

While he stars on Chicago PD and not Fire, LaRoyce Hawkins confirmed the delay during a master class lecture at LSU. “From my personal research, we have a big hill to climb before we can find an agreement,” he noted. “I’m faithful and optimistic that it will only be a couple more months, if that, that we’re off.”

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Assuming that Hawkins is right, and the negotiations for both the writers and actors are resolved in the next few months, then the earliest we can expect to see Chicago Fire season 12 is at the top of 2024. The writing team will need, in Hawkins’ estimation, “a three week buffer” to develop their next batch of script ideas, and the cast will obviously have to be on location, so the end of the year, when episodes are usually airing, will be reserved for production.

Unfortunately, a delay to 2024 means that season 12 will be shorter than the average Chicago Fire season. Instead of 20-23 episodes, the condensed production window and the need to free up space for other shows will result in there being closer to 12-13 episodes. The same goes for Chicago PD and Chicago Med.

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