‘Chicago P.D.’ Ratings Drop to New Series Low — What Are Fans Complaining About?

NBC rules the Wednesday prime-time scene. Its popular One Chicago franchise is made up of three shows: Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago P.D. All three of these series have a huge fan base, and the ratings beat everything else on Wednesday nights by a landslide. Recently, however, the franchise’s police drama, Chicago P.D., has seen a steady decline in ratings. Fans seem to be a bit irritated with the show’s current plot and changes to its characters.

(L-R) Jason Beghe as Hank Voight and Nicole Ari Parker as Samantha Miller standing in an industrial space
(L-R) Jason Beghe as Hank Voight and Nicole Ari Parker as Samantha Miller | Matt Dinerstein/Getty Images

‘Chicago P.D.’ hits a new series low

Chicago P.D. recently hit a new series low, according to Yahoo, finishing the week out with 5.7 million viewers and a .8 demo rating. Both of these statistics represented series lows for the popular crime drama. Although that number still sounds pretty impressive, it’s actually a drop of about 500,000 viewers. Chicago Fire and Chicago Med outperformed the police drama, so it’s clear fans are still invested in the One Chicago universe.

The series began back in 2014. It was a spinoff of the franchise’s original show, Chicago Fire. The series focuses on the Chicago Police Department’s Intelligence Unit. The members of this elite unit investigate cases like drug trafficking and organized crime. The team is led by Hank Voight, a tough, hard-headed cop who isn’t afraid of breaking the rules. He does whatever is necessary to get the end result he wants, and he is often labeled as “dirty.” 

What do the fans have to say? 

Fans aren’t too happy with the show’s plot, so that explains that plunge in the ratings. The biggest complaint seems to be the  lack of continuity. Chicago P.D. regularly starts a storyline, only to leave it in the dust and not refer to it again for several months. When they come back around to that particular piece, the fans feel like it doesn’t fit well and feels awkward.  

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Season 8 simply isn’t delivering the same caliber of entertainment that the series was known for in previous seasons. If the writers don’t create better plots soon, the show is going to continue to lose ratings because of its disgruntled fans. The fans tweeted their disappointment over the lack of continuity.

In addition to the continuity issue, fans are also a bit upset with the turn that Voight’s character is taking. They have always loved Voight’s tough attitude and disregard for the rules. Lately, the fans feel like Hank has lost a bit of his edge, with some openly stating that they miss the old Hank, and many saying he seems “soft” in comparison to his character from the first seven seasons.

Despite Chicago P.D.‘s recently declining ratings, it’s still one of the most-watched shows on prime-time television. The One Chicago franchise blows the competition out of the water, with Chicago Med coming out on top, followed by Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. Nothing else on Wednesday night even comes close to touching them. 

The closest competition that Chicago P.D. has is The Price is Right, which still has 1 million fewer viewers. So, while the fans may not be too happy with the way the story is unfolding this season, it probably won’t have much effect on the show overall. There is just nothing out there that can really compete with the fan base that the One Chicago franchise has built over the years.