One Chicago season is almost upon us, which means we are already being treated to teasers and game-changing casting announcements. Fans are preparing to say goodbye to some of their favorite characters and hello to newcomers, but the artwork released by NBC decided to split the difference and focus on the veterans who are staying up.
The network released the key art for the 2024 season on the official One Chicago Instagram page, and the text at the top of the art reads: "Welcome home." It's an especially fitting header, given how long fans have had to wait for new episodes.
One Chicago 2024 key art features no new characters
There may have been an expectation that the franchise would advertise the return of Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) on Chicago Fire, or tease the arrival of Dr. Mitch Ripley (Luke Mitchell) on Chicago Med. Instead, the decision was made to place emphasis on characters who have served as the backbone of their respective shows, especially in recent years.
On the Chicago Med side of things, we see Dr. Daniel Charles (Oliver Platt), Dr. Sharon Goodwin (S. Epatha Merkerson) and Maggie Lockwood (Marlyne Barrett). These three have been part of the show since the pilot, and while they contend with personal struggles, they often play the role of confidante and advice-giver. It makes sense, given that Med has been the show to undergo the most turnover in terms of cast members.
Chicago Fire opted to spotlight Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo), Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker), and Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg). As we mentioned, Kelly Severide is nowhere to be seen, nor is the soon-to-be-leaving Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer) or the supposedly dying Mouch (Christian Stolte).
One Chicago 2024 key art features one departing character
While the inclusion of these main characters may give fans the wrong impression in terms of what to expect, the exclusion of one Matt Casey (Jesse Spencer) support the theory that his character won't be on the show for much longer, and will likely be leaving with Brett.
Chicago PD rounds out the key art with the most interesting selections of the bunch. There's the reliable Kevin Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins), the man in charge, Hank Voight (Jason Beghe), and then there's Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos), who is confirmed to be exiting the show at some point in the new year.
It's a fascinating inclusion, especially when one considers that none of the other actors who are leaving the franchise can be seen on the key art. We're not sure what it means for Upton's fate (or whether she plans on sticking around for a good portion of the season), but we'd be lying if we said we weren't thrilled to find out on January 17.