Exclusive Interview with Chicago Fire Showrunner Derek Haas

Chicago Fire is coming in hot in just a few short days for it’s seventh (!!!) season. We’ve been speculating all summer about what season seven might hold for our favorite firefighters in Chicago. Showrunner Derek Haas was gracious enough to answer a few very pressing questions we’ve been mulling over all hiatus.

In case you missed it, Chicago Fire is airing in a new time slot this year; you can now catch Fire on Wednesdays at 9/8c, sandwiched between Chicago Med at 8/7c and Chicago P.D. at 10/9c. We wanted to know how all three shows airing back to back to back each week impacted the storytelling and how, as writers, they planned for a season.

“Well… for instance…,” Haas explained in an email to us. ”I ran over to Andy and Diane’s office yesterday and said, ‘Hey, I need Severide outside Med calling April Sexton. She’s not in intensive care when this episode airs, right?’”

Hmmm…we’re just going to sit here and theorize about all of the different scenarios this could possibly be about.

In the meantime, fans can look forward to the big One Chicago crossover event that is taking place in episode 2 of all three shows. Since it’s hard not to notice that the crossover is taking place earlier than it ever has, we wondered why that was:

“Because the Chicago Fire episode was going to be so big, we would need the MOST prep time to plan for it,” he explained. “We needed basically the whole summer to get ready for it.  We tried to do a residence tower fire in the second half of last year and it became unwieldy. We just didn’t have the time to get it right. So we shot our 1/3 of the crossover first.”

Speaking of the crossover, if you’ve read the episode descriptions for all three parts, then you know one of 51’s own is among the injured. Dr. Rhodes is tasked with saving the firefighter during Med’s part, but Haas teased that that injury won’t only affect the person who is physically injured.

“There are actually two firefighter injuries…” he said. “Well, one actual injury and one that is more mental. Firehouse 51 will rally behind their hurting firefighters.”   

Season 7 will also see the departure of Monica Raymund, who played fierce paramedic Gabby Dawson. One of the biggest questions surrounding Monica’s departure is how this will impact Dawson’s husband, Matt Casey (Jesse Spencer). Haas teased that once the initial shock and confusion of Gabby leaving for Puerto Rico wears off, we will see Casey explore a completely different side of himself.

“We get to see him a little looser and having fun,” he said. “Jesse Spencer is really funny off-camera, so we want to see some more of that.”

Despite Derek having said in one of his Sunday Q&As that there was no plans for any Brettonio scenes during the first 9 episodes of the season, we couldn’t resist asking whether or not fans should still hope for a reconciliation at any point during season 7.

“HOPE? How dare you mention her name!”

Yeah, I think that pretty much sums up how well things are going to go for our favorite crossover couple this season, at least in the first half.

Chicago Fire premieres Wednesday, September 26 at 9/8c on NBC.

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