Another day, another set of freshman shows renewed for a full season after a promising debut this fall.
NBC has picked up its second new fall drama by giving a full 22-episode season order to Chicago Fire, the new fire department series from Law & Order creator Dick Wolf. Meanwhile, The CW also picked up a second new drama, ordering an additional nine episodes for their Beauty and the Beast revival, thereby bringing the first season to 22 episodes, as well.
Chicago Fire isn't exactly a runaway hit, but it's not a disaster, either. In fact, the series just hit a ratings high with its last episode (though that might have been due to a special airing of The Voice as a lead-in). The series stars House M.D. veteran Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, Monica Raymond, Lauren German and Charlie Barnett as firefighters dealing with the trials and tribulations of their dangerous job and the unique lifestyles resulting from it.
Frankly, Wolf's new drama doesn't shake a stick to the Law & Order staples audiences have come to love, and the drama feels stagnant, cliche and recycled. It's still raking in an average of 8 million viewers which isn't bad, but the show is facing another freshman drama (Nashville on ABC) and the tired crime drama CSI on CBS, so there's not much competition there. We'll see if it lasts beyond one full season.
Meanwhile, over at The CW, the new adaptation of Beauty and the Beast starring Smallville star Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan in the titular roles has pleased enough of the right people, joining superhero drama Arrow as another new drama sticking around for a full season. The series follows detective Catherine Chandler (Kreuk) who witnessed her mother being shot and is trying to find out why. Enter Vincent Keller (Ryan), who also saved Catherine from being shot. They learn how to help each other while keeping a secret agency from discovering Vincent is still alive, after the agency injected him with something that gave him strange powers.
Beauty and the Beast isn't doing the same numbers as Chicago Fire (only 2.4 million viewer average), but the rating among their target demographic is enough to keep the series around, likely working as a bit of a replacement for Gossip Girl when it ends before the end of the year. This is the kind of show that a teen demographic falls in love with, but we'll see if the audiences hold up when The Carrie Diaries (a Sex and the City prequel series) arrives early next year. People only have so much time for TV, after all.
Chicago Fire airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.
Beauty and the Beast airs Thursdays and 9/8c on The CW.