Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What Happened To The Original Chicago PD Cast From The Backdoor Pilot?

As Dick Wolf typically does with his procedural "One Chicago" shows, "Chicago PD," which began in 2014, started off as a backdoor pilot in a 2013 episode of "Chicago Fire." A backdoor pilot is when a show introduces new characters in an existing show who will then get their own spin-off from that show they first appeared in. The backdoor pilot of "Chicago PD" came in Episode 23 of Season 1 of "Chicago Fire," entitled "Let Her Go."

The show featured the Chicago Fire Department teaming up with the Chicago Police Department's Intelligence Unit to investigate a murder caused by arson. It introduced future "Chicago PD" cast members Jon Seda as Antonio Dawson, LaRoyce Hawkins as Kevin Atwater, and David Aron Damane as Maurice Owens. Four other introduced characters, played by Melissa Sagemiller, Scott Eastwood, Kelly Blatz, and Tania Raymonde, did not actually go on to star in "Chicago PD" when it went to series.

Melissa Sagemiller did appear briefly in Chicago PD, while the other three actors did not

According to One Chicago Center, it was decided by the creative team behind "Chicago PD" that there were already too many cast members on the show after the backdoor pilot. This led to Melissa Sagemiller, Scott Eastwood, Kelly Blatz, and Tania Raymonde being cut from the cast before the actual pilot went to air.

Sagemiller does appear as a guest in the series' first episode from 2014, "Stepping Stone," as Detective Jules Willhite. Her character, along with series regular through Season 6 Detective Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda), investigated a murder by a reported drug lord in the episode. Upon being attacked by said drug lord, Willhite was shot in the neck and later died from her injuries, effectively writing the character off the show. Jesse Lee Soffer, who played Detective Jay Halstead, was brought into the cast to replace Sagemiller. Since then, Sagemiller has appeared in a 2014 episode of "Person of Interest" and in the Melissa Joan Hart-directed Lifetime TV movie "The Santa Con."

Sagemiller posted on her Instagram a picture with "Chicago PD" star Sophia Bush after Bush announced she was leaving the show. She said in the caption, "Thank you @sophiabush. Even in the beginning eps spent in Chicago PD, I knew it was a hard place for a breastfeeding mom of 2 babies. But years on that set, I can only imagine your pain. Thank you for standing up for all of us." 

Bush said in an interview with Dax Shepard on his podcast "Armchair Expert" that she was very unhappy on the show, citing abusive behavior from a member of the crew.

Scott Eastwood is perhaps the most famous actor that was cut from Chicago PD

Perhaps the most famous of the four actors who left after appearing in "Chicago Fire," Scott Eastwood has had the most success since leaving "Chicago PD" before the 2014 series began. He has appeared in such franchise films as "Suicide Squad," "The Fate of the Furious," and "Pacific Rim Uprising." In the backdoor pilot for "Chicago PD" on "Chicago Fire," Eastwood played Jim Barnes. He, along with his "Texas Chainsaw 3D" co-star Tania Raymonde, left the show for "creative reasons," according to TV Guide.

Raymonde played Nicole in the backdoor pilot, and has gone on to guest on such shows as "The Big Bang Theory" and "CSI." She is now a member of the main cast on Amazon Prime's series "Goliath." She continued to appear in genre films after the aforementioned "Texas Chainsaw 3D," such as "Mansion Girls" and the direct-to-video sequel "Deep Blue Sea 3" after leaving "Chicago PD."

Kelly Blatz has found success as a film director

The final cut cast member from "Chicago PD," Kelly Blatz, who played Officier Elam in the "Chicago Fire" episode, also worked in the horror genre after leaving the show, appearing in the films "Exeter" and "Hex." After guest starring on shows like "NCIS" and "Lucifer," Blatz had a four-episode arc on "Fear the Walking Dead" in 2016. 

Following his work as an actor, Blatz stepped into the director's chair for the 2019 feature film, "Senior Love Triangle." The film was nominated for best indie romantic comedy and best director by Film Threat in 2021.

While they may not have appeared in the show, these four cut "Chicago PD" actors went on to continue to work in both TV and film. Fans wonder what the show may have looked like if they all remained in the cast, but with "Chicago PD" still going strong into 2023, there's plenty of procedural cop action they can dig in on.