Exclusive Interview with ‘Chicago Fire’ Showrunner Andrea Newman

Exclusive Interview with ‘Chicago Fire’ Showrunner Andrea Newman

After an extended hiatus due to both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, the new season of Chicago Fire premieres tonight. 

We recently got to talk with showrunner Andrea Newman about the premiere and the upcoming season in general, which is her first season as the sole showrunner.

Most showrunners have a few ideas for their next season before they even get back in the writers room. When asked about whether the strikes changed their ideas for the season – which will now consist of 13 episodes instead of the standard 22 episodes – Newman said, “I think a lot changed just because we always look at it from the 22 episode perspective. In a way, what it did is just kind of load us up with story, which is actually really cool. So we did do some adjusting. We weren’t sure if we’d have Taylor [Kinney] back or not too, so that was always up in the air. And we do [have him back], so that’s a thrill. It’s kind of like a plethora of riches right now and it’s really been great for us.”

In case you forgot what happened, season 11 ended with Casey proposing to Brett, Stella deciding to go to Alabama to get her husband back, and Mouch’s life being left in danger. Newman says that audiences will find out the answer pretty early in the premiere. “It’s a six month time jump,” she said. “We really wanted the audience to feel like they were a part of it, and they hadn’t missed anything.”

Another thing that will be different in season 12 is the absence of Blake Gallo. It was previously reported that Alberto Rosende would exit the series in the season premiere. Following the news of his exit, it was also reported that Rome Flynn would be joining the cast as Jake Gibson. Newman says the two characters could not be more different. 

“I will say the character kind of comes in and shakes things up,” she said. “He’s a really intriguing character. He’s not like Gallo at all. Gallo is a heart on the sleeve guy, and that’s kind of who he’s coming in for. He’s warm and perfectly friendly up front, but we’ll come to find out there’s a lot of layers to peel back on Gibson and the team that 51 wants to know more and wants to get to the bottom of it.”

Chicago Fire airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC.

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