‘Chicago P.D.’: A Former Cast Member Got a Rare Deal From Dick Wolf

Some fan-favorite shows, like Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Law & Order: Special Victims Unithave extremely long runs. The latter, which is currently in the 21st season, is touted as the longest-running primetime program in television history. Thanks to Dick Wolf, the show has had some of the same talented actors for decades.

The mega-producer typically offers his main character actors a 7-year deal to work on one of his top shows to ensure continuity. A well-respected Chicago P.D. regular managed to negotiate an exclusive contract that left other actors wondering how he pulled it off.

Brian Geraghty smiling in front of a light blue background
Brian Geraghty | Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images

Brian Geraghty took on the role of Officer Sean Roman

Brian Geraghty portrayed patrol officer Sean Roman on NBC’s Chicago P.D. from 2014 to 2016. Before joining the men and women of the 21st District, the level-headed actor starred in major motion pictures such as Jarhead and The Hurt LockerHe also had a recurring role as a prohibition agent on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire.

Geraghty joined the cast of Chicago P.D. in the second season, where he was introduced as a new beat cop. He was partnered with Burgess (Marina Squerciati) because Atwater, her former partner, was promoted to the elite Intelligence Unit. The two developed a personal relationship that came to an abrupt end in Season 3 of the dramatic television series.

Geraghty negotiated an unheard of year-to-year contract

RELATED: ‘Chicago P.D.’: Jay Halstead is Ready to Get Cozy With Another Officer in Season 8

The highly sought after actor was never supposed to be a regular part of the series. Wolf, the executive producer, wanted the experienced Geraghty to take on the challenging role of Officer Roman. In 2016, then-showrunner Matt Olmstead told TV Line, “Brian had a lot of choices, and we courted him and pitched him what the show could be, and we were crossing our fingers that we’d get him,” according to Yahoo. He continued by saying, “He is the most level-headed, decent human being you’re going to encounter, and he’s upfront. He was like, ‘I don’t know if I can commit to a seven-year contract. This sounds great, but I’ve got to take it year by year,’ which Dick doesn’t do very often. But the deal was made.”  

Geraghty secured a yearly contract, which is extremely rare in Dick Wolf’s world. During Season 3, Chicago’s favorite officer informed producers that he was ready to move on. At the time, Geraghty told TV Line, “I like to move around a lot. I’m an actor. I like to play all different parts.”

His character was dramatically written out of the storyline, leaving viewers stunned to see him get shot. The career-ending injury forced him to reevaluate his life, and the beloved Officer Roman decided to move to San Diego to get a fresh start. His love interest, Burgess, didn’t go with him. Fans were devastated to have to say goodbye to their favorite beat cop.

Olmstead said there was no hard feelings, according to Country Living, telling TV Line, “He gave us what we needed – two years of doing a really good job on a character that elevated the show. We shook hands at the beginning, we shook hands at the end, and he’s off to do great things.”

Another ‘Chicago P.D.’ cast member wasn’t so fortunate

Sophia Bush, who played Detective Erin Lindsay on Chicago P.D. for four seasons, was not so lucky. She committed to a seven-season deal and soon began to feel the brunt of being stuck in such a long term contract. She desperately wanted to leave, citing tough working conditions, extreme weather, and a “consistent onslaught barrage of abusive behavior,” according to Deadline. Producers wouldn’t let her out of her deal, despite her threatening to sue the network. Finally, in 2017, she was released three years early, and her character was written off the show.