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Though mini-crossovers within Dick Wolf’s mega franchise have become second nature, when the three shows unite for a big event, you know it’s going to get dangerously real.

Such is the case with the two-night event that kicks off with Tuesday’s episode of Chicago Fire and continues through Wednesday’s back-to-back episodes of Chicago P.D. and SVU. “We’ve got a great bad guy and one of the characters in P.D. doesn’t make it out alive, unfortunately,” says Fire and P.D. boss Matt Olmstead.

The devastating events are put into motion when Benson (Mariska Hargitay) suspects that a case in Chicago has ties to an unsolved one from a decade prior—though don’t go searching your memory or old DVDs to get clues. “There can be cases that SVU handled that were never made into TV episodes,” SVU boss Warren Leight explains. “In our view of the world, in 2004, there were two unsolved rape/murders and one unsolved disappearance that the squad caught, and a fire breaks out on Chicago Fire on Tuesday where a victim is found barely alive having been sexually assaulted.”

While planning this crossover, the executive producers on all three shows strived not to repeat themselves, hoping instead to give a good reason for these three squads to intersect. “I didn’t just want it to be a drop-in,” Leight says, noting that the case is somewhat inspired by “the horrible and successful arc of Ted Bundy, a guy who got away with dozens of crimes in multiple locations for a long period of time because no one could believe he could do something like this and no one put the pieces together.”

Thus, the idea was born for someone from the Chicago side to fall prey to the big bad (portrayed by Walking Dead and Good Wife alum Dallas Roberts). “We had to make sure we had a reason for the P.D. team to stay involved as the perp made his way to New York,” Leight says. “I want to make sure there’s a compelling reason for P.D. to be wandering around the SVU squad, so if one of their own is taken hostage by this guy, after we’ve seen how horrible he is, we understand their pursuit across the timezone.”

While Olmstead is staying mum on who his show will be losing, he reveals that it will hit Lindsay (Sophia Bush) the hardest. “What we get out of it is, towards the end of the season, a spiral for Lindsay because, as we established from the show, she came from the wrong side of the tracks before Voight [Jason Beghe] rehabilitated her and gave her a purpose. She starts to doubt if it was all worth it or if she doesn’t belong back on the other side of the tracks in the company of her mother.”

The Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and SVU crossover event kicks off Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET and continues Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

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Chicago Fire is welcoming a new member to the team.Friday Night Lights alum Dora Madison Burge will join the NBC drama as paramedic Jessica “Chili” Chilton, TVGuide.com has learned.

Chili replaces Peter Mills (Charlie Barnett), who left to be with his family in North Carolina in the previous episode. Partnered with Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer), Chili doesn’t exactly get the warmest welcome from the firehouse when she’s introduced in Tuesday’s episode. She’ll remain on the NBC drama for the last three episodes of the season.

Burge, who played Becky on Friday Night Lights’ final two seasons, most recently appeared on NCIS: New Orleans and on Chicago P.D., but as a different character.

Chicago Fire airs on Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC.

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05/12/2015 (10:00PM – 11:00PM) (Tuesday) : BODEN TAKES CHARGE AS DIVISIONS CONTINUE TO THREATEN THE COHESION OF THE HOUSE IN THE SEASON FINALE – Lt. Casey (Jesse Spencer) puts his life on the line and digs deeper into the shady dealings of Jack Nesbitt (guest star Eric Mabius). With members of truck and squad at odds over Rice’s (guest star Warren Christie) actions in the field, Chief Boden (Eamonn Walker) is left to figure out how to create unity in a divided house, while Severide (Taylor Kinney) comes to question his own judgment. A dangerous warehouse blaze quickly gets out of control and threatens members of firehouse 51, prompting Boden and Cruz (Joe Minoso) to risk everything to save their own. Elsewhere, Dawson (Monica Raymund) gets some life-changing news. Jason Beghe, Jon Seda, Brian Geraghty, Melissa Ponzio, Izabella Miko and Randy Flagler guest star.

05/05/2015 (10:00PM – 11:00PM) (Tuesday) : TENSIONS BETWEEN SQUAD AND TRUCK BEGIN TO BOIL OVER THREATENING TO DIVIDE THE HOUSE, WHILE CASEY GOES UNDERCOVER– At Sgt. Voight’s (guest star Jason Beghe) urging, a determined Lt. Casey (Jesse Spencer) agrees to go undercover in an effort to provide proof of Jack Nesbitt’s (guest star Eric Mabius) shady dealings. Meanwhile, Otis (Yuri Sardarov) and Severide (Taylor Kinney) continue to disagree about the integrity of Scott Rice (guest star Warren Christie), causing tensions to flare between members of truck and squad. Meanwhile, Herrmann (David Eigneberg) helps out a fellow member of the firehouse. Jon Seda, Randy Flagler and Izabella Miko also guest star.

Question: Chicago Fire seems to be hinting that Charlie Barnett might leave the show. Can you shed light on that? —Anonymous
Ausiello:
Well, as weighty promo that aired after Tuesday’s episode confirmed, Mills does indeed have a decision to make that will heavily impact his future. “He finally gets his dream job back, but as that presents itself, his mom and sister come forward and they have a chance to run a restaurant in North Carolina,” executive producer Matt Olmstead previews. “He’s really confronted with a choice, which is, ‘Have I fulfilled my father’s legacy to the extent that I feel comfortable? And do I want my remaining family, which I’m the protector of, to leave and go do this restaurant?’” The resolution of his internal struggle will play out in the next episode on April 21.

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04/29/2015 (09:00PM – 10:00PM) (Wednesday) : SVU DETECTIVES JOIN CHICAGO INTELLIGENCE TO CONNECT A CASE IN CHICAGO TO AN UNSOLVED CASE ABOUT RAPE AND MURDER FROM NEW YORK A DECADE PRIOR. Continuation of Chicago Fire, “We Called Her Jelly Bean” episode. Benson (Mariska Hargitay) has traveled into Chicago to help Voight (Jason Beghe) and intelligence with a rape/murder case that is frighteningly similar to a case from New York a decade ago. She calls in Fin (Ice-T) and Amaro (Danny Pino) to assist. The prime suspect, Yates (Dallas Roberts) is let go after rigorous questioning. He then requests a meeting with Lindsay (Sophia Bush) and he warns of unintended consequences from what intelligence is doing. Featuring Jon Seda, Jesse Lee Soffer, Patrick Flueger, Elias Koteas, Marina Squerciati, LaRoyce Hawkins, Amy Morton, Brian Geraghty, Eamonn Walker, Nick Gehlfuss, Stella Maeve and Samuel Hunt.

04/29/2015 (10:00PM – 11:00PM) (Wednesday) : CHICAGO AND NEW YORK POLICE CONTINUE THE INVESTIGATION INTO AN UNSOLVED RAPE AND MURDER CASE
Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Voight (Jason Beghe) lead their teams in the investigation of a rape/murder case that is frighteningly similar to a case from New York a decade ago. When forced to release their main suspect, the Chicago PD joins the SVU in New York in pursuit of Yates (guest star Dallas Roberts). Featuring Sophia Bush (Det. Lindsay), Ice T (Det. Tutuola), Danny Pino (Det. Amaro), Kelli Giddish (Det. Rollins), Raúl Esparza (ADA Barba), Peter Scanavino (Det. Sonny Carisi), Jesse Lee Soffer (Det. Halstead), Marina Squerciati (Ofc. Burgess), Brian Geraghty (Ofc. Roman), Stella Maeve (Nadia Decotis), Tamara Tunie (M.E. Warner) and Mary Bacon (Susie Frain).

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