Are ‘Law & Order’ and the One Chicago Shows All Part of the Same Universe?

by Alex Falls

Law & Order helped define the procedural drama genre as we know it today. The original series spawned various spinoffs and it’s become one of the most dominant brands on TV. After more than three decades of drama, fans still can’t get enough.

Produced by Dick Wolf, Law & Order paved the way for more interconnected dramas to captivate audiences through huge stories and huge casts. One such drama that followed in the Law & Order footsteps is the One Chicago universe. Like Law & Order, One Chicago uses several shows involving different law enforcement teams to create diverse stories that can unfold over a huge number of episodes.

But these two universes share a little more than just producer Dick Wolf. They actually take place within the same universe.

Law & Order and One Chicago Crossovers

Law & Order and Chicago Fire both launched their respective franchises. However, it was their spinoff shows that established the connections between worlds. Law & Order: SVU and Chicago PD crossed over with each other during the first season of Chicago PD.

Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) appeared on SVU to help Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) solve a case. Fans were thrilled and begged for more crossovers.

The showrunners eventually obliged and delivered a sprawling three-part crossover in 2014. The team from SVU joined forces with Chicago PD and Chicago Fire for a major event that left fans extremely happy. But once again, they couldn’t wait to see more.

A second major crossover happened in 2015, but this was the last time we saw these two universes collide.

When Will We See the Next Crossover?

There are several reasons we haven’t seen another crossover since 2015. Even though fans have clamored for another ever since. For starters, gathering that many actors and showrunners is logistically difficult. Also, Law & Order and One Chicago air on different networks with totally different teams.

But most of all, there’s the challenge of finding a story that logically brings all of the teams together. The last thing the writers or viewers want is for the situation to feel forced or unnatural.

Dick Wolf talked about the potential of future crossover events during an interview with Variety. He spoke on the return of the original Law & Order show, and what it could mean for the rest of the franchise.

“It’s a constant exploration of possibilities. There are 56 actors under contract,” Wolf said. “The concept is there are nine shows, and anybody who’s in any of the nine shows can appear in the other eight, even on different networks. It’s pretty cool.”

Currently, it seems the chances of seeing a crossover in the near future are quite slim. Despite that, it’s clear Dick Wolf and the shows’ respective teams have a desire to pull off a major team-up event somewhere down the life. With nine shows to choose from the options are limitless. Whenever it does happen, fans will no doubt be glued to their TVs.