‘Chicago P.D.’: New Characters to Come in Season 8

The series that make up the Chicago franchise–Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., and Chicago Med–are some of the most popular shows on prime time television. The shows regularly beat out their Wednesday night competition at ABC and CBS. It all began with Chicago Fire, which will be in its 9th season when it returns. That is followed by Chicago P.D., which is entering its 8th season. Chicago Med is the newest series of the trio, but not by much–it will begin its 6th season this fall. 

Viewers will be interested to know that there will be at least one new face on Chicago P.D. when it returns on November 11. Lisseth Chavez, who played Vanessa Rojas, is leaving the series to pursue a career with a new show. The creators have to find a replacement that brings something new and exciting to the show. They also need a star that will stick around for a while, as they’ve been going through characters fairly quickly over the last few seasons. 

(L-R) Jesse Lee Soffer as Det. Jay Halstead, Marina Squerciati as Officer Kim Burgess, LaRoyce Hawkins as Officer Kevin Atwater
(L-R) Jesse Lee Soffer as Det. Jay Halstead, Marina Squerciati as Officer Kim Burgess, LaRoyce Hawkins as Officer Kevin Atwater | Matt Dinerstein/Getty Images

Who did Lisseth Chavez play in ‘Chicago PD’?

Lisseth Chavez portrayed the character of Vanessa Rojas. Rojas was a rookie in the Intelligence unit, and a series regular in season 7. She met two of her team members–Hailey and Kevin–while working on an undercover operation. Later, Rojas was recruited by Sergeant Voight and joined the team. 

Rojas had a rough childhood and grew up in many different foster homes. When Hailey finds out that Rojas has no place to live, she offers to let her crash at her apartment. The two eventually become roommates.  

Since this was Chavez’s first season, the writers put a lot of focus on her character, with several episodes revolving around Rojas. Her biggest episodes found her busting a female-run drug ring and bonding with a suspect. She also obstructed justice when she erased evidence linking her ex to a crime. Soon after, Hailey ended up risking her own career to help Rojas ensure that her ex would get a plea bargain. 

Why is she leaving?

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Lisseth Chavez is leaving Chicago P.D. to pursue another opportunity. She’ll be joining the cast of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. She is joining season 6 of The CW series and will be playing Esperanza “Spooner” Cruz. Cruz was abducted by aliens as a child and believes she was left with the ability to communicate with them telepathically. 

Cruz is incredibly intelligent, and designs tech that she uses to detect aliens. She spends her days creating technology that can be used to defend against extraterrestrials. She’s also tough, self-sufficient, and not used to working on a team–so she’ll be an interesting addition to the Legends. She’ll also be an incredibly helpful person to have on the team this season. The Legends will likely have a direct confrontation with aliens in an effort to save Sara, who was abducted. 

Will there be a new character coming in next season?

Reports say that there will be “new cast additions” in the upcoming season, but the only real known addition is Nicole Ari Parker, who will be joining the cast as Deputy Superintendent Samantha Miller, as part of a police reform storyline. Aside from Miller, there is little known about the possible new characters, other than the likelihood there will be more than one, according to One Chicago Center.

Viewers would love to see Chicago P.D. shake things up a bit. The show could use another character with a strong personality who brings something different to the team. Another great addition could be someone to fill the void Alvin Olinsky left behind. Only time will tell who else could be joining the Intelligence nit next season!