Though it started slowly, Chicago Fire quietly became one of the NBC's biggest hits last year. So much so, in fact, that the network decided not only to renew the series for another season, but even greenlit a spin-off series - Chicago PD.
Over the course of its first season, Chicago Fire built a loyal following by weaving action-packed firefighting scenes with the kind of interpersonal relationship drama that marked such classic TV shows as E.R. and Hill Street Blues. And, according to show co-creator Derek Haas, fans should expect more of the same from season 2.
Recently, Screen Rant had the opportunity to interview Haas about the show and how the characters will evolve in the new season, which premieres tonight. Check out our interview below.
[WARNING: CHICAGO FIRE SEASON ONE SPOILERS BELOW]
Screen Rant: First, congratulations on getting renewed for a second season and also on getting 'Chicago PD' off the ground. As a Chicagoan, I'm happy to have you guys continuing to bring production to the Windy City. Now, off to the questions. All of the principal characters were dealing with different issues at the end of season 1. Let's take them one at a time:
Casey - How is he recovering after Hallie's death? Will we see much in the way of romance for Taylor Kinney's character this season?
Derek Haas: Casey is slowly recovering from the death of Hallie. He's adjusting and working through it. In fact, when Season Two opens, it's after he's taken some time off to get his head cleared. Of course, it wouldn't be 'Chicago Fire' if we didn't throw a wrench into his plans to have peace.
Severide is going to have to deal with the ramifications of fathering a child with Renee… or did he? We'll see that storyline heat up over the next couple of episodes.
SR: Severide and Shay are dealing with the news that Shay isn't pregnant but Severide's ex-girlfriend Renee is. What does that mean for both of them? Is Severide ready to be a father, and does Shay continue to pursue pregnancy?
Shay has suspicions regarding the paternity of Renee's child. She brings them up to Severide… which of course, doesn't sit very well with him. As far as continuing her own quest to be pregnant… I think we'll see Shay's dating life a bit more before she settles down again. The last attempt took a lot out of her.
SR: Mills and Dawson's relationship didn't end on great terms. Where are those two emotionally at the beginning of season 2?
They both try to move on from each other and meet new people early in season 2. Still, these two work together and are always in close proximity, so it isn't easy for either of them. A couple of surprises will be in store as they begin to date other people...
SR: We saw Mills pick up the application for the Chicago Police Department at the end of season 1? I know we'll be picking up some new firefighter in season 2. Is Mills on his way out and into the 'Chicago PD'?
Mills is sometimes impetuous, but as I said, it's hard for him to be at a firehouse where he knows secrets about his Chief. And his ex-girlfriend is there… And he didn't make the Rescue Squad… can you blame him if he's looking for a fresh start somewhere else?
SR: Speaking of those new firefighters, what can you tell us about the new personalities coming into the firehouse and how will they conflict with the existing squad?
You're going to meet two new guys… Clarke, who takes the empty spot on Rescue Squad, and Spellman, who is a new engine Lieutenant. Spellman is gregarious and eager to please, and Clarke is introspective, quiet and perhaps has… how should I put this… questionable motives in joining our firehouse. I can't tell you any more than that!
SR: Chief Boden is dealing with budget cutbacks - a very real issue in Chicago - and has to deal with the potential closure of Firehouse 51. Can you tell us what his struggle will look like over the course of season 2?
We introduce a new character named Gail McLeod who is a consultant for the state, played by Michelle Forbes. Boden gets on her bad side early, and 51 lands in her crosshairs as a candidate for closure. Boden pulls out all the stops to keep Firehouse 51 safe, but will it be enough? You'll just have to watch and see.
Sorry for all the vagueness, but I hate spoilers! You can't open your Christmas presents in November. I hope everyone enjoys Season 2! We're having a blast making it.
Chicago Fire season 2 premieres tonight, September 24th, @10PM EST/9PM CST. If you're a fan of the show, let us know in the comments and tell us what you'd like to see happen to the folks at Firehouse 51.