Chicago Code: Canceled Before Its Time

I try not to let show cancellations get to me, if only because it’s all out of my hands. Besides, I’ve seen plenty of series that I once loved extend way past their welcomes. No, I won’t name names. But Fox’s The Chicago Code is inarguably gone before its time. Like Terriers, another one-season wonder from showrunner Shawn Ryan, The Chicago Code offered rich characters, emotional complexity, and moral ambiguity. Most importantly, these series breathed new life into the crime drama genre, which has become a pit of location-based procedurals.

At least The Chicago Code was able to offer a mostly satisfying two-part season finale. (Remember that Terriers, while solving the season’s case, did end on a cliffhanger.) The finale saw Alderman Gibbons behind bars (while awaiting trial, that is), Liam outed to his family as an undercover cop, and Jarek getting some closure on his brother’s death. It’s easy to speculate on how the series could have continued into another season—we still have to see Gibbons’ trial, for one thing—but at least we got something resembling a happy ending. Maybe bittersweet is more accurate.

I’m not sure why The Chicago Code didn’t resonate with more viewers. Outraged fans love to blame Fox, but the network deserves credit for taking a chance on this show in the first place. Perhaps the series, like Terriers before it, was too complex for casual viewing. You didn’t necessarily have to tune into The Chicago Code on a weekly basis, but it was a lot more rewarding that way. The development of the characters and the season’s arc, namely Teresa Colvin’s campaign to take down Alderman Gibbons, were the most engaging aspects of the series.

It’s not that I’m anti-procedural, because I do enjoy the occasional formula-based cop show. I just think it’s important to offer viewers a little diversity, and The Chicago Code was such a refreshing change of pace from anything in the Law & Order universe. There were weekly cases—some tied into the bigger picture, some standalone. And they did what cases on a show like this should do, deepening the relationships between the officers and underlining the larger-scale goals. In this case, ending corruption in Chicago.

Mostly, I hope Shawn Ryan isn’t discouraged from making more great shows, because he continues to wow me with his work. The characters on his series aren’t always easy to root for, and more often than not I find myself questioning their choices. But that’s part of what makes them such a pleasure to watch. When I want something easy, I have a number of guilty pleasures to turn to. Let’s hope we get something new from Shawn Ryan soon for when I want to do a bit more heavy lifting.

But hey, maybe it’s not too late for The Chicago Code. I hear Netflix is getting into the show-saving business, and if there’s any recently axed series worthy of renewal, it’s this one. I’m a loyal Netflix customer. They have to listen to me, right?

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Watching this show on Netflix only makes me miss it more. This show definitely shouldn't have been cancelled, especially with Blue Bloods getting renewed on rival CBS. Fox threw away a great, refreshing setting in Chicago.

Now, Dick Wolf and NBC have taken over with their Chicago franchises. Chicago P.D. is good, but it's more procedural than the Chicago Code. The Chicago Code just felt a lot more realistic, and city, as a whole, was used more.
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Im not surprised fox is known for ending good shows
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How can we bring it back?
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It's a sad commentary on Americans as a whole, the tv shows that get renewed season after season compared to the ones that get cancelled before one season is over. This show was phenomenal. Why is blue bloods still on? It's not better than Chicago code and there certainly aren't people under 30 watching it. My freakin grannie watches blue bloods. I think the reason fox gave for canceling it was a crock. Doesn't add up. How can a piece of junk show like csi ny last so long but this one not get a real chance?
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hell's yeah. I agree with you 100%. I love this show and am surpised to hear that it was canceled. I use netflix and hulu as my cable since I am anti-cable companies. So I am defenitly going to request them to bring back chi code.
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I just watched this series on Netflix and I have to tell you it is the best Policw sow I have ever seen and I have watched Blue Bloods and it's good but not nearly as good as Chicago Code.. I was raised by My mom and my father who was a Police Officer and this show is so Authentic it's really a shame it got cancelled. I think it came out when all the reality shows were popular but that is winding down and I think people want to see more drama's like this. To bad you can;t bring it back
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The reason for cancellation may have something to do with the now common unconvincing "Superbabe" lead that has become the required feature of dramatic series. While Jason Clark was excellent, Jennifer Beals was terribly miscast.
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I loved Terriers, I thought it was a good start to potentially funny, but superior show..

Now this! merde!!
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I only found this site searching google to find out how many series of Chicago Code there were. I'm devastated. Have watched all 13 episodes in the past week and I'm totally addicted. I cannot understand why this isn't a top rated show. What a total disappointment.
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I've decided that the american public in general has zero tolerant for shows that require more than a 10 second attention span. Every time I find a show that has a great plot, great acting, requires you to think & get emotionally involved, the freaking show gets canceled. No wonder the next generation of youth are watching less tv, they realize that stupid reality shows or fictional docu-dramas aren't worth their time. Sad to think that tweeting, texting or spending your evenings on Facebook has more entertainment value that a well produced tv series. Then again there are so few of well produced tv series, other than what the BBC produce.
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This show is SUPERIOR! I can't believe its gone...the characters were very well developed!! If wishes could come true...they would bring it BACK!
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The show is one of the best, I think is because it talks about the Chicago corruption and it hits too close to home for obama.
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This is gut-wrenching. This was the best series I've seen since 24. Fox have a sick way of killing the best things on tv.
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As a Brit in England, seeking out quality shows that don't make it across the pond is very rewarding. But I'm also confronted with the realities of corporate programming that appear to get in the way of quality drama. Terriers, The Chicago Code, both by trusted and successful creator who knows his onions when it comes to pulling an audience in through slow and assured character, plot and story-line development.



And yet both cancelled after one series/season.



And, as surprising, neither picked up by another network.



Is it a sign of the financial times, when networks hedge their bets with less challenging and more reliable fare? Or is it a wake-up call to the rest of us, that what we are allowed to watch will only have longevity if it sits comfortably with the masses and demands nothing more than an undemanding 45 minutes one week-day evening?



Worse to contemplate is the idea that perhaps programme makers, in order to get to the second series, will shape their thinking to the executives', will buy into the formula that guarantees another 12 episodes, the formula according to the money-men sitting around the board-room table.
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What can we do to bring Chicago Code back? Like the writer of the article, I don't normally get offended when a show gets axed, but this one is a real loss!
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I actually like when they axe shows after one season, it makes you appreciate the plots more, the writing gets better from talented people trying to save their jobs and best of all, you aren't stuck with a show that jumps the shark, but still drags on for years. Remember, 24 (four seasons too many), Chuck (just not funny after season 2), Alias (season 3-5), Glee (everything after season 1)
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I agree with you completely. Last year two good shows got the axe CHICAGO CODE and DETROIT 187. While mediocre show ( Oh I watch them but they are not the same caliber )

like BLUE BLOODS remain on the air. Another one taken off was FLASHPOINT. Fortunately like SOUTHLAND a few years earlier another network picked it up. Oh Well. My love for cop stories will live on forever.
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Let another smart TV company pick this up. LOVED it
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If u ever make shows for the people and Not some freaking annoying network executives who cancel show just because they can PLEASE BRING THE ONLY REALY COP TV SHOW BACK!!!!!!!!After every episode i learnt 1 or 2 things about the city of CHICAGO. the writer? Hats offfff
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i freaking knew it. This was one of my favorite shows to watch. How in the hell are shows like blue bloods on but not chicgo code. This show was awesome. Please don't do this!!! It is not too late to bring this back.
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What in the world was Fox thinkin. Chicago Code was a great show. I ben waitin for the new season. Knew somethin was wrong. Come on some other network needs to pick up this. Maybe USA or TNT. Come on Ted Turner

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Missed the series on the first run but caught the re-run on Sky 2 (UK) recently. Absolutely loving it. I would agree you get the benefit by watching all episodes and watching the Alderman Gibbons story develop (I'd never heard of an "Alderman" before as from UK but have now).



The Chicago dialogue was also a plus - the pharse I loved "good police" popped up a few times. Shame its been cancelled as characters really good - Wysocki especially.
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I am from South Africa, and we loved the show. What do you mean it was too complex ? Not everyone is an idiot, seemed pretty simple to me. I loved the storyline and the actors, what a shame it was a top show !
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I actually thought we finally had something of the NYPD Blue police drama caliber again. Oh well, back to waiting.
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Ditto to all the comments about quality acting, great storylines, NOT boring police show... I was SOOOO looking forward to the next season and I am SO PISSED it's been cancelled. Jason Clarke, Jennifer Beals and Matt Lauria and especially Delroy Lindo were a SUPERB cast... they really made the show believable... damn the idiots who cancel great shows and let all the RUBBISH flourish... I WILL scream - aaaaaagh!
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Firefly was the show that put Fox on my sh!t list to begin with and now this show gets the axe as well. The too complex excuse was used on Deadwood (an HBO production) as well. Man I am so sick of the CSI clones this show promised something gritty and real. I also watch Castle but it lacks in the gritty department. I just don't understand what people find appealing about the Fox lineup without Chicago Code in it.
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This is so disappointing to fans of good TV. Chicago Code was awesome, and it had a great storyline, as well as some great actors and actresses. Too bad for us, and shame on Fox.
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According to the Chicago Machine, George Bush was responsible for the cancellation
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I loved Chicago Code and was looking forward to it being on this fall. I blame The Daley Mob for this one. There are too many secrets in Chicago that the city would like to remain in house. The show was on the road to airing out some goods ones too lol.
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For cancelling my fav show, fox is my new "f" word. Why isnt anyone mentioning their anger about not seeing the hotness of jennifer beals??
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Too complex for casual viewing? What a load of crap. So now those of us who are intelligent enough to follow "complex" shows are going to be penalized and stuck with big brother and survivor? Fox has developed a reputation for latching onto fly by night ideas for shows over proven and popular ones. Now this Jurassic park wannabe, which I don't believe will last a full season, is taking the place of Chicago code and Lie to me. Another very compelling and interesting drama. The list of cancelled shows on fox is longer than many other stations complete list of shows in their histories. Sadly so is foxs' list of good shows cancelled before their time. Two thumbs down fox.
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I feel that the problem with shows like The Chicago Code is that it is too complex for the casual viewer.. This show was on par with some of the greatest shows of the year, and maybe if it would have belonged to a better network that believes in complex series such as HBO it might have been a success. Sadly another great show bites the dust, because of the fact that viewers just aren't intelligent or caring enough to keep up with something on a weekly basis. Most frustrating is that it felt like it was just picking up steam and something great was coming out of it.
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Couldn't agree with all of you more - was shocked to hear that it was canceled.
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Why would they cancel this excellent, most enjoyable show???? Arghhh I feel like screaming...of all the rubbish shows..why 'Chicago Code. BRING THE CHICAGO CODE BACK.

From an Aussie.
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Did you notice that Big Brother is near the top of the ratings lately? Ugh!! Kill me now,....Who are these Nielsen people anyway?? lol
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Actually, I was scanning to see if someone had finally decided to bring The Unit back somewhere. The cancellation of that show 2 years ago has never seemed like it would stick; I thought surely that it would be resurrected. To see that Chicago Code was also dumped when it seemed to have a very loyal following and lots of upside makes me wonder. Shawn Ryan was executive producer for both -- by all acounts a brilliant guy. Wow -- what a run of awful luck! Could something else be afoot?
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Good grief!! Yet another quality show bites the dust. I swear if they would just get rid of the ridiculous reality shows, maybe they would feel that they could allow a show like Chicago Code one more season. Honestly, people who watch Chicago Code have to be more desirable to advertizers than the morons who watch reality programming and the like!! Numbers of viewers don't mean quality viewers who have money to spend on advertizers' products. Wake up
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I am brazilian and don t understand why they cancelled Chicago Code!

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I cannot believe that fox would let go such a show... then again... whats next Glee! its bad enough i dont watch fox as it is. Chicago Code was a show that fox could hold up and compete with all the other popular shows on other networks. why dump whats good and keep the bore?
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I am literally shocked to just find out that this show has been cancelled? I don't know why FOX would cancel a show of this caliber? I felt like this was going to be the next big hit. I am actually really very sad about this. FOX loses a lot of credibility on this one.
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I still don't understand why The Chicago Code was cancelled. The ratings were going up..
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why is it that when ever something good comes on the drop it, that is so much bs and then they leve on something stupid like doug or the office dum dum dum i just wont watch fox any more were can i get the book
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why oh why??!!
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No Dobnt Cancell ill be soo freekin bored
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No Dobnt Cancell ill be soo freekin bored
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What is wrong with Fox. This was one of the few shows I watched. Very lame
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This cancelation of Chicago Code is truly a shame. Great acting and plots each episode. Made you pay attention each week. Too bad another network dose not pick it up. Would make a great addition to USA network or even NBC. We do not need another reality show or talent show. Enough with this Trash TV. truggs
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Why was it cancelled? Was it because too many people were watching it? I refuse to watch another dump comedy or talk show on Chan.5. Bring back Chicago Code.
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It's really sad...I been looking for another cop drama that was worth watching ever since NYPD Blue was cancelled, this show was definetly it! Hopefully someone can pick it up!
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WHY? WHY? ARE YOU CANCELING MY FAVORITE TV SERIES??? AND KEEPING SOME OF THE MOST NOT-SO-FUNNY SIT- COMS??? PLEASE! PLEASE! RECONSIDER AND KEEP "CHICAGO CODE"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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