Chicago Fire Season 7 Review on the Numbers


Chicago Fire’s latest season was a hit with fans, but how did it do by the numbers? Here’s a look at the Chicago Fire season 7 ratings.

Now that Chicago Fire has finished another season, it’s time for our annual post-season ratings review, where we look at something else that’s important to the show—its ratings numbers.

One Chicago fans know that as much as we love the show, TV is also a business, and that comes down to ratings. We’ve been providing you with weekly ratings reports throughout the season, but now it’s time to look at the big picture and see what that tells us about season 7.

Overall numbers

The Chicago Fire season 7 premiere had 8.08 million viewers, which is not quite as great as it sounds—that’s only the third highest-rated premiere in the show’s history, and it’s almost a million eyeballs behind the second-highest (8.90).

However, it was significantly better-rated than the first episode of season 6. That brought in 7.19 million, so the show gained 890,000 premiere viewers, year over year.

The finale did take a ratings hit, down to 7.51 million, but that was still good enough to make it the second highest-rated finale in show history. Only the season 4 finale (7.91) had bigger numbers.

And it was also a massive improvement over the season 6 finale, which had 5.95 million people watching in May 2018. Chicago Fire gained more than a million and a half more viewers (1.95) in that respect!

The episode with the lowest live audience was “The Solution to Everything.” But that was also a relatively slow episode, plot-wise, as it largely centered on the story between Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) and reporter Naomi Graham (recurring guest star Kate Villanova), so it’s not a shock that it wouldn’t pull in a huge audience.

Highest-rated episode

Not a huge surprise here, but the most watched Chicago Fire episode this season was one of the two crossover episodes. “What I Saw” kicked off the second One Chicago crossover, and brought in an audience of 8.85 million people watching live.

Crossover episodes always bring in numbers—after all, they’re always big events and they’re also heavily promoted by NBC in the weeks leading up to them—but this one even crushed the other crossover installment! The first one, “Going To War”, only had 8.10 million. Still a great audience, but it’s interesting to see the big disparity between the two.


3 best characters in season 7

Which Chicago Fire characters stood out the most during the most recent season? Count down the best characters from Chicago Fire season 7.

Now that Chicago Fire season 7 has come to an end, it’s time to begin our yearly look back at the season that was, starting with a big question: who were the best characters this season?

The seventh season was a period of transition for the heroes of Firehouse 51. It provided a formal sendoff for Gabriela Dawson (Monica Raymund) after the previous season’s cliffhanger, and from then on, audiences saw how the firehouse—and the show—moved on without her. And Dawson wasn’t the only character to say goodbye this season, either, as the hits just kept on coming.

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We’ve narrowed it down to three characters who stand out for a number of reasons—because they did something particularly impressive, because the writers finally figured them out, because the actors stole the show or some combination of the above. These are the ones who stood out from the rest over those 22 episodes.

Click through this slideshow to see our picks for Chicago Fire‘s best characters during season 7, and let us know who would be on your short list in the comments at the end of the article.

Christopher Herrmann

Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg) has long served as the sarcastic comic relief of Chicago Fire, and/or the unofficial leader of the supporting characters as they go off on whatever subplot they have for the week. There was some of that in Chicago Fire season 7, but he stands out for the fact that his character was expanded beyond that, too.

One of the coolest moments in the season was Herrmann being promoted to Lieutenant, even if it was largely to keep someone else from getting the job. That was significant in show history, just like Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) getting promoted last season, because rarely do our heroes get recognized for all of their hard work. But it also opened up a new story—Herrmann adjusting to having authority, and everybody else adjusting to him having it.

Audiences also saw Herrmann becoming a mentor to candidate Darren Ritter (recurring guest star Daniel Kyri), which turned out to be one of the most fun relationships of the season. For all of his bluster, Herrmann took a liking to Ritter and the two wound up making a really good pair. It was a pleasant surprise to see that side to him, and hopefully that won’t end considering that the finale left them both in a life-threatening predicament.

Stella Kidd

After Gabriela Dawson’s departure, the big question for Chicago Fire was who would emerge as the show’s new female lead. The answer came pretty quickly: that was Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo), who was involved in most of the major storylines during Chicago Fire season 7.

It was Stella who wound up hospitalized during the first One Chicago crossover. The relationship between Stella and Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) was once again a huge talking point, despite the fact they were broken up for a large part of the season. Stella got to be the hero a time or two, as well, most notably in the episode “Move A Wall” where she rescued several kids.

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She got a lot of screen time, and Miranda Rae Mayo proved how large a part of this show she has become. Stella’s one of the rare recurring characters who’ve actually lasted; very few of them have become series regulars, and those that did (i.e. Jimmy Borrelli) didn’t stick around long. But Stella is now a centerpiece of the series, and the seventh season demonstrated her value in a variety of ways.

Whether it was helping to save the day, or providing the romantic subplot with her ongoing feelings toward Severide, or even a little bit of comic relief when she ventured into things like trying to train Ritter’s dog, Stella was pretty much everywhere. She showed strength, humor, confidence, and even some endearing awkwardness. And considering how much she contributed this season, one would expect to see even more of her in season 8.


Kelly Severide

Chicago Fire season 7 got the show back to its roots, with major storylines for both Casey and Kelly Severide. But while Casey got mixed up in a forgettable relationship with reporter Naomi Graham and his apartment burned down, this season was much more significant for Severide. In fact, one could call this Severide’s season.

That’s because with Dawson gone and the Dawsey relationship no longer a factor, it was Severide and Stellaride that came to the forefront. Severide was there to help Casey, and the two became roommates later in the season. Severide and Stella broke up, then surprised no one when they got back together since they were both clearly still hung up on one another.

There were some new friendships for Kelly that didn’t develop long—one with new paramedic Emily Foster (Annie Ilonzeh) that was impacted by Stella’s jealousy, and one with an adorable kid. Carl Grissom (Gary Cole) came back and made amends. And in a true gut punch, the writers made the questionable decision to kill Kelly’s father Benny Severide (Treat Williams).

No matter what your thoughts on that particular plot twist, at least it did provide a wonderful performance from Taylor Kinney, as Severide had to finally make peace with his father, especially after learning what Benny had done just before his death. Plus, he also got to close the case that had eluded his father in the season finale. Season 7 felt like a turning point in Severide’s life, and left us excited for what he’ll do in season 8.