The coronavirus pandemic is hitting close to home for Chicago Med.
When the NBC drama returns for Season 6 on Wednesday (8/7c), the hospital will have been struck by the real-world global outbreak, and “one of our main characters is recovering from COVID as the season begins,” executive producer Andrew Schneider tells TVLine.
Adds EP Diane Frolov, “The pandemic is an integral part of this season, both in individual stories and in how the hospital has had to adapt.” In keeping with that, there is now a COVID ICU, where Dr. Ethan Choi — who has expertise in infectious disease — is working in the season opener.
Meanwhile, on the romance front, relationships and would-be couples were in flux when viewers last checked in with them in April. So TVLine emailed Schneider and Frolov to get an update on “Chexton,” “Manstead” and more:
TVLINE | Several pairs were left in various states at the end of last season. Starting with April and Ethan, where do things stand between them as Season 6 opens? And what’s next for them?
SCHNEIDER | Ethan and April are friends but no longer lovers.
TVLINE | Crockett and Natalie have been growing closer. How will their relationship evolve? Do they have romantic feelings for each other?
SCHNEIDER | They will continue to grow closer and are surprised to find they have romantic feelings for one another.
TVLINE | Meanwhile, Will has started a relationship with Hannah under not the best of circumstances, with her just out of rehab. What does the new season hold for them?
FROLOV | Although they love one another, they will be challenged by a health crisis.
TVLINE | At this point, have Natalie and Will both truly moved on from each other? Or is there still hope for a Manstead reunion?
FROLOV | Although they are both involved with other people, the feelings remain, and there is always hope!
TVLINE | Are there any changes in terms of the hospital staff/titles or with new doctors coming in?
SCHNEIDER | There will be a major staff shake-up in the E.D. and two doctors will be coming in.
TVLINE | You have such a big cast, so are there any storylines you’d like to tease for the rest of the group like Dr. Charles, Goodwin, Maggie, etc.?
FROLOV | Think family. Dr. Charles will have a continuing storyline with his difficult adolescent daughter; Goodwin will have a story with her medical rep son Michael; and Maggie will have a story with new husband Ben and his medically-challenged student Auggie.
Chicago Med fans, what are you most excited to see in Season 6? Hit the comments!