Chicago Fire showrunner Andrea Newman believes that extended runs of action-packed shows lead to inevitable changes. In the latest episode, long-time firefighters Christopher Herrmann and Randy “Mouch” McHolland face career-threatening challenges.
Viewers were left in suspense about Mouch’s fate after the season 11 finale but learned in the season 12 premiere that he survived. However, Mouch still grapples with the aftermath of his injury, determined to prove he can still compete.
Herrmann, who risked his life in the previous episode, now suffers severe hearing loss. Newman discusses the characters’ arcs, emphasizing the exploration of new dimensions and character dynamics in the 12th season. The interview touches on the challenges faced by aging firefighters (“battling Father Time”) and hints at the struggles Severide faces upon his return.
Newman confirms Taylor Kinney’s return as Lieutenant Kelly Severide and teases potential friction with other characters.
The departure of Kara Killmer’s Sylvie Brett is revealed, with plans for her character to face unexpected challenges. Other storylines include the introduction of new characters like firefighter Gibson and the development of Violet’s character.
Newman credits the show’s freshness to its unique blend of action, character dynamics, soap elements, and comedy. She emphasizes the importance of staying true to a first responder’s life, infusing hope and humor into the narrative.
Despite the show being in its 12th season, Newman attributes its continued success to surprising viewers, incorporating cast changes, and maintaining a familial connection with the audience.
The interview concludes with Newman reflecting on her tenure with Chicago Fire since its inception, expressing surprise at reaching the 12th season.
She believes the key to keeping viewers engaged is to consistently surprise them and maintain beloved characters. Newman asserts that the 51 team views themselves as a family and considers the audience part of that family.
Chicago Fire airs on NBC every Wednesday at 9 p.m.