Did NBC's Chicago P.D. Force Arrest You?

Chicago P.D. PremiereNBC, Dick Wolf & Co. unspooled their latest franchise on Wednesday night with the premiere of the Chicago Fire spin-off Chicago P.D. But does a dirty cop make for a great drama?

Before you chime in with your snappy judgements, here’s a brief refresher of the players and action: Sergeant Hank Voight (played by Jason Beghe), who tormented Casey on Chicago Fire and went to jail for his crooked ways, is now the head of the Intelligence Unit. He runs the division by his own rules. He instructs his team to come to him and only him with any intel  — and should they go over his head, “it’ll be the last head you go over,” he warns them. He butts heads with the boss of Violent Crimes. He beats a criminal until the lawbreaker gives him the info he needs. And someone from Internal Affairs is calling about him. You get the (dirty) picture.

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But Voight also has a softer side, which he exhibits when he promises to help a young boy get out of the gangster life. The biggest proof that the Sergeant has a decent heart may be in his relationship with Detective Erin Lindsay (One Tree Hill‘s Sophia Bush). When a colleague notices Voight’s business card taped to Lindsay’s locker and asks her how old the worn down paper is, Lindsay replies 13 years. So what’s the story there? Voight saved her life, is all she says.

The rest of the team is filled out by Detectives Antonio Dawson (The Pacific‘s Jon Seda) and Jay Halstead (The Mob Doctor‘s Jesse Lee Soffer), who should be familiar to Fire fans. Lindsay sets up the latter with a friend of hers, but we’re betting on the two pretty detectives hooking up by season’s end.

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There’s also veteran Detective Alvin Olinsky (The Killing‘s Elias Koteas), the controller of all things tech; Detective Sheldon Jin (CSI‘s Archie Kao); Officer Kevin Atwater (Fire‘s LaRoyce Hawkins), who throws a party at Molly’s — Hermann being Hermann screws himself over by taking a flat $200 rather than 50 percent of the total door cover — and flight attendant-turned-Officer Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati, aka Dan’s agent on Gossip Girl. You’re welcome). To hunt down Pulpo (“The Octopus”), a notorious drug dealer who is fond of beheadings, the series also pulls brash Officer Adam Ruzek (The 4400‘s Patrick John Flueger) out of the Academy.

One person, however, doesn’t make the cut. Melissa Sagemiller’s Jules gets caught up in the war between the Intelligence Unit and Violent Crimes, leading her to get shot. Fire‘s Dawson and Shay show up to save her life, but since it’s already been reported that Sagemiller won’t be continuing with the show, it’s no surprise that she doesn’t survive. Unfortunately, the cliffhanger — Antonio’s son is taken by the bad guys — also has been given away in the promos.

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So the big question coming out of the premiere seems to be the same one the characters are wondering: What’s the deal with Lindsay and Voight, who says he has big plans for her?

Another question to ponder: Does the crimes-to-solve nature of P.D. make it more similar to the Law & Order franchise than the more relationship-driven, slightly lighter Chicago Fire? After all, that was one pretty serious pilot. (To be fair, Fire is a rescue show, making it more hopeful. It’s hard to play up love triangles and fit in laughs when people are being beheaded.)

Now it’s time for you to weigh in on Chicago P.D. Grade the premiere below, then hit the comments with your thoughts!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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81 Comments
  1. Esaul says:

    Watching this on Hulu tomorrow. I’m excited. >.>

  2. Margaret says:

    I actually liked it a lot more than I thought I would. It may some time to get used to “gritty” Brooke Davis, but I like her banter with her partner. Better than Chicago Fire’s pilot, and I think it’s well cast, especially with the crossover of the 2 shows.

    • dude says:

      I fell like she’s more than just “gritty Brooke Davis” that’s kind of belittling the character and Sophia Bush who is wonderful.

      • Margaret says:

        I don’t mean to belittle her at all, I actually really like her in this role, a lot more than I thought I would. It’s the beauty of TV, after playing Brooke Davis for 9 years, Sophia Bush can totally reinvent herself onscreen, I love it. I’m from the older end of the OTH generation, so it will take a couple episodes for me to get used to seeing Sophia in such a different role, that’s all I meant. I thought this pilot was well done, and I’m actually super intrigued to know Sophia’s character’s backstory with Vogt.

      • canadian ninja says:

        Which characters are available for belittling? I realize some are off limits. There’s King Lear, Blanche Dubois and apparently whoever Ms.Bush is playing. Anyone else?

    • Jim says:

      This is the first show I’ve seen with Sophia Bush & WOW! I have definitely been missing out. “You’re still not driving.” Was the best line of the show.

  3. yankeesrj12 says:

    Meh. I felt like there was way too much going on. I like Chicago Fire, but I don’t need to see the characters on both shows. I understand Dawson, since her brother is on PD, but the rest felt unnecessary. I’ll give it another week or two and then make a final decision.

    • Simon says:

      It’s typical Dick Wolf to be fair – just like SVU, where you had the ADA from the main L&O crossing over on and off for the first season, until the show was more established and they introduced their own new ADA. From then on, it’s story based crossovers. Bit stunty I guess, but at the same time I think it was more of a nod between the shows – it’s not like they had to butcher the storyline to fit them in, it was all natural enough.

    • Angie says:

      I enjoyed the crossover of Chicago fire players. Since they all live and work in Chicago not ever seeing them cross paths would be highly unlikely. It also provides continuity to any story line on either show. I do remember that at the end of Chicago Fire’s first season that Voight was seen on the passenger side of a car in a parking garage with a “higher up” woman to whom he handed some money over to and reminded her to book it into evidence. She told him not to worry about it but just keep on convincing people he was a “dirty cop”. I found that very intriguing and all sorts of potential stories that could arise out of that lone conversation.

  4. Liz says:

    Absolutely one of the best premieres I’ve ever seen! Loving all the characters/actors, story lines, Jason Beghe’s Voight! Dick did it again! Two great shows chicago fire and chicago pd.

  5. alamoh says:

    I think the show will have the relationships drive the show like Chicago Fire, but it probably wont get any lighter. I think before that can happen though the team needs to fit together. We still need to see Voight be a good guy more first and the rest of the team buy into the way the unit works before branching out to relationships even makes any sense.

  6. Reblogged this on THB Files and commented:
    That is one of the most best premieres that I’ve ever seen. I have seen Sophia Bush on One Tree Hill in a long time but she’s still got it though. The acting was brilliant. I love the spinoff. This will be my new addiction. Cop shows that I like is this. Cops or police is what you call it.

  7. Natalie says:

    OMG YES!!! I didn’t expect to enjoy this but I am already engrossed! that last part of tonight’s episode had me by the edge of my seat!

  8. i loved & while i like the the crossover
    like Hermann said they’re about 2 blocks from each other so some spillover is nice
    but i hope they don’t over do it

  9. Amanda says:

    I’m instantly hooked like I was with ChiFi. I love this universe so much! Also Halstead and Lindsay! I’ll need those two together.

    • Beth says:

      I agree! The pilot was really good and I love that we kind of know the characters from Chicago Fire. But yes Halstead and Lindsay get my shipping vote. I think Lindsay is taking a Severide detour by some things I read.

  10. Jenna says:

    Intense! I liked it! I enjoy the grittier, more straight forward cop shows similar to NYPD Blue and Hillstreet Blues. This has that same tone. And I think the cast is excellent.

  11. Tran 2.0 says:

    I give Chicago PD an A. NBC has high hopes for the Chicago Fire spin-off. One thing I like about Chicago PD: Sophia Bush :-)

  12. Eliza says:

    I really enjoyed it! Like the cast a lot. I’m a big Chicago Fire fan, and I think there’s a good chance I will feel the same about Chicago PD.

  13. Sarahliz1624 says:

    Awful! I hate shows that use emotional blackmail to get you to come back, and kidnapping the kid was the final straw for me. I thought I was interested in it even though I found it far too violent for a broadcast show (vivid pictures of decapitations? no thank you) but I was willing to stick it out, even after my favorite actress on the show was killed. But as soon as that van pulled up, they lost me. It’s a cheap trick to get people to come back, and here’s one viewer who won’t be falling for it.

  14. A.D. says:

    Sucked…made me miss great cop shows.

  15. dude says:

    Brilliant! Loved it! Fantastic premier and Sophia Bush is just amazing. Love that woman. She was by far the best part of the show but everyone else is great. I loved the pilot and I adore the chemistry between Sophia and Jesse. This is going to be good!

  16. Dean says:

    Wasn’t bad I want to see how the thing with Antonio’s son plays out before I say if I like it or not.

  17. Luli says:

    So if I’ve never watched Chigago Fire, will I understand this?

    • Dean says:

      Not really, but it would help understand a bit of the characters better.

    • Rook says:

      Yes, the main thing (which they sorta covered) was Voight was a dirty cop then got arrested and then was released and got his job back, we don’t know how… yet

      • Andy N. says:

        Actually, they kind of showed it at the end of the ChiFi episode that they used as a backdoor pilot of sorts. At the end Voight met with some mysterious female I.A. detective and gave her the dirty money he’d been handed earlier in the episode and she’d told him to maintain the appearance of being dirty. Though how that part plays out I’m still wondering.

        • DYS says:

          Not only that, but that woman is likely the one that was mentioned last night to have kept calling for Voight, that he denied having heard of.

  18. Shaun says:

    It was kinda horrible and unrealistic.Think Chicago Fire has way better cast and dynamics.Alot of useless characters in the unit.They really needed higher profile leads even if it was just for looks.

    • Lila says:

      Actually it was realistic a cop getting killed and leaving behind a family and loved ones is realistic as it gets.

  19. Jenny says:

    I didn’t have high hopes for the show but I was pleasantly surprised. I found Chicago Fire to be really slow and boring in the beginning but I think PD has learned from Fire’s initial shortcomings. I think the crossover is great and natural. How often have Halstead and Antonio been on Fire? It’s only natural to see some familiar faces: they’re in the same neighborhood and Cops and the Fire Department work together all the time in real life- especially if the nearest ambulance is 61.

    My one minuscule complaint is the time difference between the two shows continuity-wise (e.g. Dawson is still a Paramedic) but I’m assuming they shot the pilot thinking the show would air in the fall.

    Also I love the cast- Sophia Bush is a true talent and all-around great woman so all the haters to the left. One Tree Hill is over people- I think what we all liked about Brooke was what Sophia brought to the table. If you see similarity in Lindsey- great. if you don’t- great.. She obviously enjoys the role which is more than I can say about other people on different shows.

  20. Diz says:

    I thought it was amazing. I can’t wait for next week!

  21. Jamie says:

    Loved it!!! btw … Anyone know the song featured in the promo that focused on Sophia bush for the show? It’s killing me!

  22. Phil says:

    Anyone else think this feel like this is gonna turn out to be a slightly less gritty and not quite as crooked of a cop show as The Shield? Both center on special units that get the big cases. The head cop will do whatever it takes to keep his streets clean and doesn’t mind making some extra money on the side.

    I also like how they’re making Voight into a likeable character. I don’t think they were planning the spinoff when they introduced him on Chicago Fire and he was quite the villain. Now at least we know he cares about helping people and being a good cop too.

  23. Healing Hands says:

    2 words: Shawn Farrell lol I loved the premier and will continue to watch :-)

  24. Eh, action and plot were decent but dunno if the characters grabbed me that much. I was wondering what had happened to Archie Kao though when he stopped showing up on CSI despite episodes where he easily could have shown up… Now we know.

  25. mikey says:

    “But does a dirty cop make for a great drama?” Worked for NYPD Blue.

  26. Big Mike says:

    Not really caught up with Chicago Fire….someone explain how Voight isn’t in jail, and how he’s actually a cop again?

    • Rook says:

      Nothing is known about how Voight got released and became a cop again, that will probably be played out most of the season.

      • DYS says:

        The backdoor pilot on Chicago Fire, had a scene that mentioned him using his past as a crooked cop as an in to help get intel with gangs and people of that nature. That probably means that he was released for that specific purpose.

  27. Tundrabeast says:

    Looks like a tamed down version of The Sheild. I think it’ll be interesting like Chicago Fire, but I too hope the mix of characters from Fire will be very sparse after the pilot. I hope that goes both ways so we don’t end up with stories blending between both shows. They already tried a show like that (I think it was called Third Watch) that didnt last more than a couple seasons if I remember right. Like the article mention….One aspect is about rescuing people and the other is about running down bad people

  28. Pia says:

    I’m still mourning The Chicago Code but I might give this a try when I have nothing else to watch. Does anyone know if Scott Eastwood is still on it?

    • Flo says:

      No he’s not in Chicago PD anymore, and so is Tania Raymonde, they were both let go due to creative reasons I guess.

  29. Elyse says:

    I’m a HUGE Chicago Fire fan and Chicago PD did not disappoint! :D

  30. yup says:

    Jesse Lee Sofer can’t act and it’s distracting, but maybe he’ll learn now that he’s on a weekly series.

  31. Having my DVR knocked offline at the end of summer forced me to make some decisions about my TV habits. While it’s not hard for me to acquire Chicago Fire after watching something else, I realized that for me, it wasn’t worth it. I just wasn’t into the characters (most importantly, but also everything else about the show) enough to need to see what happens next. So I just gave up and haven’t looked back.
    .
    Having said that, would any of you recommend Chicago PD to me or is it just more of the same with different uniforms and more guns?

    • Braddoock says:

      Watch and see we don’t know what your tastes are

      • It’s like, with Chicago Fire, it was a lot of soapy relationship stuff, mild humor with underdeveloped ancillary characters who get star billing in the credits anyway, with a few well-filmed fire fighting sequences peppered in, along with very weird dramatic arcs involving police corruption and a lil pyro kid. It’s just hard for me to care about them buying a bar, making a baby or inevitably putting two characters together after so many years of them predictably not. Characters to care about is a factor as well as decent writing that makes the day by day stories really pop and get you invested (like on The Good Wife, for example). If it’s Chicago Fire with cops, no thanks. If it’s Star Trek The Next Generation with cops, I’ll give it a try.

    • Lila says:

      Personally I liked it, but as they say watch see and be the judge of your own taste, I actually have to rethink how I feel about Voight now.

  32. Mike says:

    Pretty dang good start. Obviously it’s no Rescue Me pilot, but it had some great action. I didn’t expect this show to actually have a more serious plot . A pleasant surprise.

  33. Eli says:

    It’s just another dumbass cop show with a hardass lead guy who doesn’t play by the rules and regularly breaks the law to “get results”. Why anyone felt this spinoff was a good idea is beyond me.
    .
    I’ll be sticking with Fire and let this piece of crap go.

  34. sarah says:

    I loved the pilot! I also kind of like Voight now and never in a million years would I ever see myself saying that!

  35. Whitney says:

    I was disappointed there were no African Americans in the cast. Except for the kid on the wrong side of the tracks. I mean seriously. It’s Chicago. I like a rainbow cast. Instead of a repeat every other cop show from the 90s.
    I’ll wait and see. It was a good pilot. Would have to bring it a bit more. Like I don’t want the cliche Sophia Bush and Jesse Lee Sofer that will annoy me to no end.

  36. Dave from the trailer says:

    This show wants to be Shield or the Wire but kind of fails.

  37. Jacqueline says:

    I liked the show. It had a lot of moments of suspense! Thank you Dick Wolf. Your series are always excellent!

  38. Adam says:

    I am so hooked!!!! So flippin good!!!

  39. gesele says:

    I liked it! It was surprisingly very interesting. I loved the fact that Chicago Fire cast members popped up, of course we’ll see them throughout they are both from the same place. Hopefully it continues to surprise me and keep me on my feet!

  40. Connie says:

    I really liked it! I liked the action, I really like the characters (still learning all of the names). The female battle-axe desk sargent rocks. I liked that they showed very different personalities in all of the characters, and not all just “tough as nails” cops. The young PO with a fairly shy personality in the morgue was great (loved that she was licking her fingers to use as lube to get the ring off), loved the bearded guy with the hat that has a pretty quirky/strange personality. Get it–Voight is a dirty cop that is a teddy bear. Can we see another side of him soon please? Like show us how smart he is.

    Please PTB, please please please don’t start making this into a Chicago Fire like soap opera! Every female character doesn’t have to be struggling to find a soul mate (like they are on CF–its boring already). We don’t want to see them playing footsie under the table–we want to see them kicking ass and solving crimes!

  41. Tom says:

    I hated it. Didn’t even make it through the whole episode. I’m tired of TV shows that glorify cops violating constitutional rights and ethical codes and behavior…where is the follow up episodes where the people they catch are released because of their illegal methods. It’s irresponsible. Also, did not enjoy the stereotypical minority villains with bad fake accents. Horrible representation on how crime is and should be fought.

  42. Sheldon W. says:

    While it’s a pretty standard procedural at heart, P.D. is less boring and predictable. The presence of Jason Beghe elevates it to above average.

  43. Robin says:

    I really liked it! Can’t wait to read more!

  44. Jillian says:

    I loved the first episode! Both Chicago PD and Chicago Fire remind me of Third Watch only decomposed into two shows. Third Watch was one of my favorite shows so I am glad that these shows fill that void. Also, so glad Sophia Bush is back on TV!

  45. Samantha says:

    I actually really liked it. I don’t watch Chicago Fire so I can’t compare the two – going just by Chicago PD alone, I liked it. I was an avid fan of OTH – I liked Brooke but she wasn’t my favorite character (could go with or without her). I think Sophia Bush is a fantastic actress, though – she was fantastic in this premiere. I actually enjoyed seeing her in a different role – it felt fresh. I’m bummed about Melissa’s character dying (I really liked her), but I’m still interested in the show. So far, I’m liking all the characters. I’m a little indifferent towards Jesse’s character right now, but I’m hoping the development of him will be better.

  46. KMG says:

    Surprised by all the love for this show. I was disappointed, and kind of bored. I like many of the actors on the show, but it seemed like just a lot of tired cliches strung together, and like it was trying too hard to be “edgy”. Grumpy anti-hero star with bad attitude who ignores the rules? Check. “Shocking” nasty crime scenes? Check. Impossibly cute/gorgeous actors trying to look like bad-ass, hard-nosed, jaded cops? Check. Shy young girl “newbie” cop trying to impress her cynical, experienced colleagues? Check. Gritty, dirty police station? Check. Nice-guy cop with perfect home life has his work crash into his professional life? Check. And on and on… No thanks, I’ll pass.

  47. Novella says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate
    your efforts and I am waiting for your further write ups thanks once again.

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