Chicago Fire Showrunners Tease High-Octane Premiere and 'Nonstop Thrill Rides'

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We're still riding high from that Stellaride wedding and Casey's reappearance on Chicago Fire Season 11 Episode 22.

But now, the wait is over, and we'll have an all-new season of Chicago Fire coming at us hot, and we do mean HOT!

So much is on the line for the 51 crew, and we couldn't wait to get all the details.

Looking High  - Chicago Fire Season 11 Episode 1

We had the pleasure of catching up with Chicago Fire's truly hilarious and fun showrunners, Andrea Newman and Derek Haas, to get all the scoop we can about the season premiere and the season!

Check it out below!

Chicago Fire Season 11 Key Art

Hello, how are you guys?

Derek: On a scale of one to 10, we're on a 20 right now. It's premiere week!

Diving in, what kind of action and emergencies can we anticipate in this premiere?

Andrea: Well, we were saying there are different kinds of roller coasters. One is the kind that starts slow and builds and builds. And then the other is a surge rollercoaster; it comes out with a huge bang.

Our premiere is a surge roller coaster. It just comes out like a shot and doesn't slow up. That is a good metaphor for the rest of our season too. There's a lot of high stakes and big action this season. When you get to season 11, you have to keep topping.

Wedding Hell -tall - Chicago Fire Season 11 Episode 1

Derek: It's a nonstop thrill ride.

Andrea: Yeah, it is Derek.

We finally got that Stellaride wedding everyone was waiting for, but the honeymoon looks like it might take a dark turn there. What can you share about the mysterious truck outside the cabin?

Andrea: I'm so glad you asked that because Derek really likes to talk about that truck.

Checking a Vic -tall - Chicago Fire Season 11 Episode 1

Derek: That truck coming up; a lot of people don't realize that's Benny Severide's casket that was late being delivered to the cabin--

Andrea: Oh my God. [Laughs]

Derek: Where it was going to be buried at the cabin. It was bad timing.

Andrea: Derek has come up with a different story each time.

Loading 'em Up -tall - Chicago Fire Season 11 Episode 1

Derek: We try as writers to be surprising. That's like your number one goal is to surprise people, and we've already done a short Severide wedding. So could this one be even shorter because of the events of the honeymoon night? That would be a shocker.

Andrea: Well, it's definitely a big adventure, that honeymoon, and possibly the worst honeymoon ever, but they are both royal badasses. Severide and Kidd get to play a lot of exciting action in the premier, with the fallout of the truck arriving. It starts hot, and then it just gets hotter.

Derek: And repercussions to that storyline will continue throughout the season.

Awesome, I was just wondering because there's so much happening with Severide right now, he intends to testify in court, and he had to kill a man to defend himself, so where is Kelly's headspace this season?

Derek: He gets to look further into it because we had this mystery that wasn't resolved, where a guy got into the courthouse with a knife that Kelly had to confront, and how does that guy get into this government building with that weapon is a question that will be answered in the premiere and not in a way that makes Severide very happy.

Wedding Day Swagger -tall - Chicago Fire Season 10 Episode 22

Emma's cowardice got her fired, but is that the last of her? Will there be blowback on Violet and Hawkins?

Andrea: Well, Hawkins is definitely going to take a hit professionally for how he went to bat for Violet to get rid of Emma. But I think on a personal level, it will only be good for him and Violet going forward.

Derek: You know, on Chicago Fire, we love bringing back villains.

So you might not have seen the last of Emma Jacobs. Right when you have forgotten about her, she and Gorsh are going to ride in on a white horse. [Laughs]

Violet and Hawkins -tall - Chicago Fire

It seems like the distance is driving a wedge between Casey and Brett. What does the future have in store for them? Are we expecting any more Jesse Spencer appearances this season?

Andrea: Hmm. We are always rooting for Spencer appearances.

There's never a closed door to Jesse coming back. We couldn't love him more. We feel about him the way Brett feels about Casey.

Derek: There's not a moment in your life that wouldn't be made better by a Spencer appearance. That is so true.

Casey Returns - Chicago Fire

Awww, I love that non-answer! [Laughs] Well, can you tell us about the newbie joining the ranks, Carver? What can we expect from him this season?

Andrea: We're really excited about Carver because we often introduce new characters, and they're lovable right away, or they fit in perfectly right away. Carver is much more complicated than that.

There's a past with Kidd. They were rivals at the Academy, and there was tension between them. But we'll find out Boden brought him here for a reason, and it will create some conflict for Kidd.

It will be a struggle, and we will slowly peel back layers on this Carver guy. Our actor, Jake Lockett, is fantastic. He's got, he's got some complicated backstory, and we'll just keep finding out more about him, but he'll also be stirring the pot a bit at 51 at the same time.

Carver  - Chicago Fire Season 11 Episode 2

I love a little pot stirring. They're a family, so it's hard to break into a family as close as 51.

Andrea: Exactly. And some people try right away, and some sit back a bit and continue to be their moderately crazy selves and don't try to fit in.

Will we get any One Chicago crossovers? Do we get big ones or little mini ones?

Derek: We get a chockful of mini ones. We're going to see Upton in the premiere. We'll see Trudy Platt very soon; some of the Med characters are in the show.

Our characters are on Chicago Med early, but we don't have the big three-episode, one-story crossover yet.

The Mrs - tall  - Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 10

That's usually something we would start thinking about in the summer. With the COVID restrictions and everything, we weren't in a place where we could get those many cast members occupying the same stages yet from the three different shows. So we don't have anything quite on the books. But you never know.

As you said, it's the 11th season, and the show hasn't slowed down. How do you guys manage to keep that momentum going and keep things fresh and everyone just clamoring to get back every season?

Andrea: That's a great question.

Derek: So nice of you to say.

Brought to Safety -tall - Chicago Fire Season 11 Episode 2

Andrea: Derek said this before, but we have these fantastic technical advisors.

Steve Chikerotis , who's a deputy district chief and Chicago firefighter. And we have Michele Martinez, our medic.

And the truth is, we do these ride-alongs with them, and the stories are never-ending in Chicago, so that helps us a lot. There's just always something new and always something crazy going on. And for us, it's the characters too.

It's just watching them evolve and being able to write these characters changing from who they were in season one, especially Severide and Brett this season.

We have had a great time charting their growth as characters and who they've become, contrasting with who they started as, which makes it fun and keeps the momentum. It's not just the same stories for the same characters.

Bride in Danger -tall - Chicago Fire Season 11 Episode 2

They're different characters every year, like we all are. We change and evolve, and these guys do too. So we get to explore the new parts of the characters.

Derek: And we'd be remiss not to mention that we literally have the greatest crew working in network television.

Andrea: Truly the greatest, never had a better crew.

Derek: Craig [Jackson], our production designer, Reza [Tabrizi], our producing director, Demetra [Diamantopoulos] --

Andrea: And [John] Milinac, who does the fires and action. They can bring a new and next level, every time, new technology, new explosions, new, whatever it is. And so we get to rely on them for the visuals of a lot of that, too, making it just cooler and bigger.

Juggling a Lot -tall - Chicago Fire Season 11 Episode 2

Derek: We have a guy named Chris Payne, who all he does is makes all those disgusting wounds.

Andrea: [ Laughs] Yeah, he's special effects makeup.

Derek: he's amazing.

Andrea: Yeah, he's amazing. We were talking about a head for an upcoming episode. There's a spoiler-- needing a head, and he said, this is true, "I have one in my car."

Stella on Site -tall - Chicago Fire Season 11 Episode 2

Oh my gosh. [laughs] He sounds fun!

Andrea: [Laughs] We were like, great. He's from Chicago. He's an interesting guy.

Derek: We keep telling him, do not get pulled over on your way to set. [Laughs]

OK, final question. Are there any final teases you could give to summarize the premiere and season so far? Give me whatever you got!

Derek: Well, we ended last season with an amazing, beautiful wedding on the river. We start this season with the most harrowing, dangerous wedding call. It's not going to be quite the same for this newlywed couple.

Stellaride Wedding - Chicago Fire Season 10 Episode 22

Andrea:: We look at that a bit as a symbol for the season. We're going to have some super high-stakes calls.

One of the themes for the season is that you can't save everyone. We'll see how that affects our guys. There will be some real highs and real lows right from the jump. Our guys will be relying on each other to help get through some of that.

Derek: And to all of our viewers, if you hire a band for your wedding, don't have pyrotechnics under the tent.

Andrea: [Laughs] There you go. A moral for all.

Derek: Just don't do it. Don't do it.


The season premiere of Chicago Fire airs tonight at 9/8c on NBC!

You can watch Chicago Fire online here via TV Fanatic.

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You'll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on X.

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Chicago Fire Quotes

Kidd: I just got to keep busy. Working the bar’s good for that. Um, you know I’m gonna need some major distraction when I get home, right?
Severide: I think I can provide.
Kidd: You are so selfless.

Casey: Well, you gotta admit, he's happy.
Dawson: She's a graphic artist he met at the craps table. Her name is Brittany and she's from Florida? You know what that adds up to? Stripper!
Casey: What do you have against Florida?