‘FBI: International’ Showrunner Explains Why Crossover Episodes Are So Difficult

by Chase Thomas
Photo: Dvid Lukcs/CBS 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

One of the coolest aspects of CBC and NBC crime dramas branching out is the opportunity to have the shows work with another. Like seeing superheroes team up in Marvel movies, seeing different characters on different One Chicago programs is cool to see. However, as of right now, don’t expect a crossover episode for FBI: International anytime soon.

You can understand why even before hearing from the executive producer of FBI: International, Derek Haas. It takes having a lot of different people on different shows at the same site at the same time. Everyone operates on different schedules, and it is hard enough to schedule every cast member on your own show. When you add in crossovers, it only gets more complicated. It only adds more stress to the cast, to the director and to the writers. It’s wonderful for the fans, but you can understand why so many shows shy away from it.

That being said Haas told TV Insider,“I can’t imagine us doing another one this year. It was so much more work than when we do the Chicago ones. Just even having the bad guy go all the way through the three episodes, get him to Hungary. You’ve got jet lag issues. You’ve got working hours issues.”

This makes sense. It’s one thing for Chicago PD and Chicago Med to crossover into one another’s shows. They are in the same area. It’s easier to pull off. This is an international show where crossover is near impossible. His example of the bad guy in Hungary along with the travel in involved is totally understandable. The episodes take place all over and to expect consistent crossovers for a show like FBI: International seems very unlikely. He continues, “It was way harder than even the hardest Chicago crossover that we’ve done.”

Yeah, it’s hard to argue with that. He goes on to say about the crossovers, “So we love them. We want to use them as much as we can. We like the idea that they know each other,” he continues. “But the first three episodes we were like, ‘Let’s do it!’ and then we’ve gotten to be a little bit more cautious as we pick the right episodes.”

If there is some sort of familiarity there, it makes sense for Haas. He wishes it was easier to pull off and it made sense to start off the show like that. However, that model is not sustainable and he understands. He knows that that can only happen every now and then when the stars really align and everything makes sense.

You can watch Season 1 of the CBS drama FBI: International every Tuesday at 9:00 PM EST.