Chicago Justice: Season 1 – Opinion

Chicago Justice premieres tonight, March 1st, 10pm on NBC. Its regular timeslot premiere is Sunday, March 5th, at 10pm.

Tonight, TV land will be graced by the introduction of a new Dick Wolf show, Chicago Justice. Smartly, NBC is having us meet the new cast via a three-part crossover with Chicago PD and Chicago Fire. Clearly, fans who watch the first two episodes tonight will stay up to watch the finale in Justice. The question will be will that viewership carry over to the show’s real time slot on Sunday nights at 9 pm?

There a few elements in Chicago Justice that will attract viewers of other Wolf shows. Fans of Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda) from PD will want to tune in to see him in his new role at the State Attorney’s office. Older folks, or those who watched reruns of the original Law and Order, will want to see Justice‘s Assistant State’s Attorney Peter Stone (Philip Winchester), who plays the son of the original District Attorney on that show, Ben Stone (Michael Moriarty). Even Paul Robinette (Richard Brooks), an assistant DA on the first few seasons of “L&O,” shows up in Sunday’s episode to reinforce the connection. In general, Justice is a lot like Law and Order.

The Justice team that works with Stone includes his boss, Mark Jefferies (Carl Weathers) and rookie prosecutor Anna Valdez (Monica Barbaro). Working with Dawson is Laura Nagel (Joelle Carter) and Antonio Dawson. Watching them in Sunday’s episode (this was the episode NBC released for review), one is not yet left with the feeling of a cohesive team. It seemed liked they were getting to know each other, just as we were getting to know them.

The episode was pretty slow-moving and although the issue of prosecuting police officers is important, it already feels used and overdone. If Justice wants to make a run of it, it will need more original plot lines. With Law and Order having covered many issues and SVU just having completed 400 episodes, that may prove difficult. Most Wolf fans will be ready to give Justice a try, but it will have do better to keep them watching.

Chicago Justice - Season 1