CHICAGO FIRE's Andrea Newman on it Being 'Cool as Hell' to Showrun an Action Series - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CHICAGO FIRE’s Andrea Newman on it Being ‘Cool as Hell’ to Showrun an Action Series

January 16, 2024 by  

CHICAGO FIRE showrunner

CHICAGO FIRE — “Call Me McHolland” Episode 12002 — Pictured: (l-r) Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd, Daniel Kyri as Darren Ritter — (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)

When CHICAGO FIRE season 12 kicks off on Wednesday, January 17 (at 9/8c), there’s technically a new boss in charge.

Andrea Newman started with FIRE back in season 1, working her way up the ranks before officially becoming co-showrunner in 2021. Now, following former co-showrunner Derek Haas’ long-planned exit at the end of season 11, Newman is running the ship solo.

After working with Haas for so many years, the shift has been an adjustment. “Not having Derek here…he’s so missed just as a presence and as a writer and in so many ways,” Newman tells Give Me My Remote about the changes since she stepped into the (solo) showrunner role. “But, it’s funny, I talk to him probably every day. And we both agree: None of us have ever felt like we’re doing this solo…after 12 years, especially, but we always compared to 51: it’s a real family here and it’s a team effort, always.”

“So as much as I like to say I’m totally taking the lead, we have just so many great people,” she continues. “We have our producing director Reza [Tabrizi], all these people we all come together and do this.”

That’s not to say Newman (whose previous credits include 24, THE SECRET CIRCLE, COLD CASE, and FELICITY) isn’t a little giddy. “It’s a thrill,” she acknowledges with a laugh. “And I won’t say it’s not cool as hell to be a female showrunner on an action show; I do love that. I love the ass-kicking element of it and getting to go and ride around the fire truck and all that stuff.”

The series has also consistently showcased strong, badass female characters—and it’s having a real-life impact. “I love that we have great strong female characters that we get to write to,” Newman gushes. “There’s a real Girls on Fire—that started after [CHICAGO FIRE’s] Girls on Fire—at a training facility outside of Chicago. [Series technical consultant/former real-life Deputy Fire Chief] Steve [Chikerotis] was telling me that when Miranda [Rae Mayo, whose Kidd started the fictional initiative] went to visit this Girls on Fire, when she got there, it was like the Beatles had arrived to the girls in this [program]. These young girls, who are now learning all about fire department training and being actual firefighters, all just lost their minds when they saw her.”

“It’s so cool,” she continues. “It’s cool to know that the show is having an impact like that and characters like Kidd are having an impact.”

On-screen, Newman previously teased it would be a season of “change and evolution” for the characters. “[The change] just gives us an opportunity to explore whole new relationships and dynamics that we haven’t seen before,” she says. “The spine of the 51 family is still totally intact, but we get the chance to explore some new characters coming in and shaking things up—[it] is really exciting. And I just have to say also it’s just super exciting to have Severide back and in action…and shake up his relationships with people at the firehouse and what his leaving [did to them], the impact that had.”

CHICAGO FIRE, Season Premiere, Wednesday, January 17, 9/8c, NBC


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