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Chicago Fire headed for change in major new update on season 12 – details

The writers' rooms are reportedly opening this week

Jake Lockett as Carver and Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd in Chicago Fire
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
5 October 2023
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It's great news for One Chicago fans as the writers' rooms for all three shows are opening this week – however, Chicago Fire is headed for a major change.

According to Deadline, Andrea Newman, the previous co-showrunner alongside Derek Haas, will be the sole showrunner for the drama's upcoming season in light of Haas's departure last spring. 

David Eigenberg as Christopher Herrmann, Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd© NBC
The writers' rooms are open on One Chicago shows

This isn't the only change expected for the new season as the main cast are set to appear in fewer episodes than usual. 

Back in April, it was reported that One Chicago producers, Universal Television and Wolf Entertainment, reached a budget agreement with NBC, which means all three dramas will remain on air for another season but the main cast will feature less

According to Deadline, the episodic guarantees – the number of episodic fees each series regular is entitled to per season – were being renegotiated and decreasing, meaning the stars would appear in around 18-20 episodes per season, rather than the usual 22. 

LaRoyce Hawkins as Kevin Atwater, Marina Squerciati as Kim Burgess, Patrick John Flueger as Adam Ruzek, Jason Beghe as Hank Voight in Chicago PD© NBC
LaRoyce Hawkins as Kevin Atwater, Marina Squerciati as Kim Burgess and Patrick John Flueger as Adam Ruzek star in Chicago PD

Fans were already bracing themselves for potential change following Taylor Kinney's departure from Chicago Fire earlier this year. The actor is currently taking a leave of absence, so it's not clear whether he will be back for season 12. 

WATCH: Inside Taylor Kinney's Dating History

The new seasons of all One Chicago shows were due to begin in September but were delayed due to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. 

Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide in Chicago Fire © NBC
It's not clear whether or not Taylor Kinney will return in season 12

WGA members went on strike on 2 May over labor disputes with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents major studios including Netflix and Disney, as well as television networks such as CBS, NBC and ABC. 

Thankfully, the WGA reached a deal with the Hollywood studios in September, bringing the strike to an end after almost five months. 

MORE: Taylor Kinney's career after Chicago Fire - all we know after actor's leave of absence

READ: Why these One Chicago stars left the franchise and where they are now

However, SAG-AFTRA, which represents actors and other entertainment and media professionals, is currently in negotiations with AMPTP, with talks expected to continue through the week. 

David Eigenberg as Christopher Herrmann in Chicago Fire© NBC
David Eigenberg as Christopher Herrmann in Chicago Fire

In a joint statement released on Wednesday, the two parties said: "SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP met for a full day bargaining session and have concluded. Negotiations will continue on Friday, October 6, with the parties working internally over the weekend, resuming Monday, October 9."

When will One Chicago shows return to screens? 

NBC has yet to announce official release dates for Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D, and Chicago Med. Whilst the writers' rooms have reopened, the actors won't be able to return to set until the SAG-AFTRA strike is settled. 

According to Deadline, who spoke to a group of network execs, the shows could be back on air as early as March 2024, depending on how quickly SAG-AFTRA reaches an agreement with the studios. The outlet states that for a March release date, the actors would have to be back on set and ready to film in mid-November. This applies to other procedural shows, including The Rookie and NCIS, too. 

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