The Set Detail Chicago P.D. Shares With Hill Street Blues

Among the various titles that make up the "One Chicago" franchise, the series "Chicago P.D." will no doubt feel the most familiar to viewers who enjoy standard crime dramas. As the name suggests, "Chicago P.D." is a police procedural that follows the members of the Chicago Police Department's fictional 21st District, blending the stories of street level cops alongside those of the detectives working in the Intelligence Unit. As such, it's a crime drama that will feel wholly familiar to fans of the genre, but unique enough to keep them hooked -– which is no easy feat considering just how many police procedurals there are these days. 

With that said, competing with shows like "NCIS," "Blue Bloods," and "Law and Order" has forced "Chicago P.D." to adopt a unique approach to the genre to set itself apart. Admittedly, there are times where even "Chicago P.D." seems eerily similar to some of the shows that came before it. In fact, there's one major similarity between the set design "Chicago P.D." and the revolutionary police procedural "Hill Street Blues" that is so blatant, one has to wonder if it was actually intentional.

Both series are set in the same building

As more hardcore fans of the series might be aware, the exterior location used for the police station in "Chicago P.D." is the Maxwell Street Station in Chicago (per University of Illinois), which also served as the police station exterior for "Hill Street Blues" (via Choose Chicago). 

What makes this detail so jarring is the fact that the building itself is most well known for being the "signature image" of "Hill Street Blues." As such, one has to wonder what was going through the producers' heads when they decided to reuse the location for "Chicago P.D.," or if the allusion is intentional. After all, if there had never been a "Hill Street Blues," there also might never have been a Chicago P.D. at all. 

That's because "Hill Street Blues" is credited as one of the most revolutionary television series of all time. The series helped to bring serialized storytelling into mainstream television, and provided audiences with a grittier, more realistic sort of crime drama. The use of serialized storytelling and gritty realism have become a staple of the police procedural in modern day, and "Chicago P.D." is no exception. Still, it is a bit odd that the two shows share a police office, when "Hill Street Blues" remains to this day one of the most iconic crime drama shows of all time.