Chicago Med will look a lot different this year. When Chicago Med season 7 premieres Wednesday, the show will feature three new cast members and pick up after several major story changes. As part of my Fall TV Interviews series, executive producers and co-showrunners Andrew Schneider and Diane Frolov joined me to talk about the developments both inside and outside the hospital.
Brittany Frederick: Chicago Med season 7 introduces two brand-new characters in Dr. Stevie Hammer and Dr. Dylan Scott. What were you looking for when you decided to add new doctors?
Diane Frolov: We wanted to bring in characters who were different in temperament and backstory from our other doctors, so that their arrival would open up new story possibilities.
BF: In addition to their arrival, you’re keeping Steven Weber as Dr. Dean Archer, who was a great part of last season. What motivated you to make Archer a main character?
Andrew Schneider: Steven is an amazing actor and he deftly plays a complex character who, for all his emotional issues, is still a terrific surgeon. Because Dr. Archer can be such a difficult guy and at times behaves badly, he’s great fun to write for.
BF: Archer is taking over as head of the Emergency Department because Dr. Ethan Choi (Brian Tee) is still in recovery. Between that and his ex-fiancee April having left the ED, how different is Choi’s story going to look in season 7?
DF: Ethan has to overcome both the physical and emotional trauma of being shot. We also want to see how his near-death experience changes his outlook on life.
BF: Plot-wise, Chicago Med has now passed 100 episodes. As you look for cases of the week in season 7, how do you keep from selecting ones that are either similar to previous episodes or that might touch on storylines you’ve already done?
AS: The cornerstone of our show is how the medical cases affect the personal lives of our doctors and nurses. So with new characters and new inter-personal dynamics, we hope the show will continue to be fresh and surprising.
BF: Will the COVID-19 pandemic continue to play a role in Chicago Med season 7? It’s still the biggest medical issue in the world, but it’s also something you addressed extensively at the start of season 6.
DF: Sadly, COVID is still part of our lives and we feel that our hospital must reflect that. Although it won’t be dealt with as intensely as last season, we will still have COVID long-haulers and patients whose conditions are caused or worsened by their having had COVID.
BF: The two of you have now spent more seasons on Chicago Med than you did on either The Sopranos or Northern Exposure. What has working on Chicago Med meant for you?
AS: We love Chicago Med and appreciate that it is not like other shows we’ve done and that it allows us to tell very different kinds of stories. Over the six-plus years we’ve produced Med, we’ve also learned an awful lot of medicine. Unfortunately, we can’t seem to retain it! (laughs)
Chicago Med airs Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
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