There is a major crossover happening on NBC this week over two nights and three of its dramas, “Chicago Fire,” “Law & Order: SVU” and “Chicago P.D.” On Friday, Nov. 7, the executive producer of “SVU,” Warren Leight, and the executive producer of the “Chicago” series, Matt Olmstead, spoke to reporters about what to expect.
It all begins at the end of Tuesday’s “Chicago Fire,” and that’s also when you’ll see Lindsay and Severide cross paths. “It’s an amicable cross,” Olmstead promised. They each have their own things going on, and while it is an “interesting” cross, “it’s not one that fraught with disappointment and betrayal because who knows down the line if they’re going to pick it back up again.”
As for the other potential romance in Lindsay’s life, there will be “further slow-burning” between her and Halstead, who will both be heading to “SVU” for Wednesday’s episode, the EP teased, “because as has been made clear to them by Voight, he doesn’t tolerate in-house romances, so they’re holding true to that. It’s tested a little bit, as you might imagine, because they’re out of town, but there’s no crossing the line yet for those two.”
These shows are no strangers to crossovers. “Fire” and “P.D.” cross over often enough that it barely warrants a second thought, and “SVU” did join the mix last season. However, that one scene with Lindsay last season was not meant to be sold as a “crossover.” This time around, that isn’t the case, and they had to work around production schedules to make this happen. “We had Kelli, Danny and Mariska in Chicago for four days, four days and two days, which meant our next episode was a legal one just to allow for scheduling,” Leight explained. “And we had Halstead and Lindsay and Voight here for two days for Lindsay and four and four for Halstead and Voight. I think this is less of a cheap tawdry gimmick than is usually the case.” “The characters are really ingrained in the storytelling throughout the whole hour,” Olmstead added. Further linking together the two episodes is guest star Lou Taylor Pucci.
“Part of the challenge of these things is to make sure that our episode is self-sufficient, stand-alone, yet that the time passes ad here are enough unresolved parts to allow ‘P.D.’ to get another hour out of it,” Leight admitted. The “SVU” episode leads right into “Chicago P.D.’s,” and the hope is that “the audience that night comes in and stays for both hours and that we’ve made it compelling enough for them to do that.”
There are going to be fireworks of some sort between Benson and Voight. “They have two very different approaches to interrogation. The two shows have different approaches to police procedure, and I think we all know Voight can be a little more physical and Olivia is in general a more empathic detective, and that’s two different schools of how you work an interrogation, and those kind of fireworks take place in both episodes,” Leight said. “The question is, at the end of the day, at the end of a case, do these two probably have more in common than any of the other people in their squad room?”
Olmstead agreed. “In terms of Voight, he rolls over most people. There’s not a lot of people who can go toe-to-toe with him, and so here comes this equal whom he respects, is formidable. He knows he can’t run a game on her, and even though they have different policing styles, there’s a mutual respect. They’re both coming from the same place. They both want to protect their cities, though they may have different tactics going about it. They do lock horns and they do so equally, but then when it’s over, it’s over.”
When Benson first shows up on “P.D.,” it’s “in the midst of a pretty grim investigation, with grim details,” Olmstead previewed. “When Voight sees her, there’s a smile on his face. He’s happy to see her, because there’s this immediate chemistry, immediate shared affection between two very similar characters, ironically, though they may have different backgrounds, different approaches to it.”
The big three-show crossover begins with “Chicago Fire” on Tuesday at 10 p.m. and continues with “Law & Order: SVU” and “Chicago P.D.” on Wednesday, beginning at 9 p.m. on NBC.