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How Chicago Med Fans Really Feel About The Show's Reuse Of Actors

If you add up every season of every show in Fox's "One Chicago" franchise — so, the 10 seasons of "Chicago Fire," the eight seasons of "Chicago P.D.," the seven of "Chicago Med," and the one year of existence of the short-lived "Chicago Justice" — you'd be talking about a TV universe with 26 seasons and 557 episodes aired (so far!). And, being that each show in the "Chicago"-verse is a procedural of some sort, following different cases or crises each week, that means we've seen the makers of "One Chicago" tell well over 500 different stories in just under a decade.

That is, to put it lightly, a boatload of stories to tell. And, even though Fox has the resources to recruit talent from a very wide pool, the fact remains that there are only so many actors in Chicago — where the franchise has been admirably filmed from the very get-go (via City of Chicago), often on location (via NBC). As a result, there have been a few instances of guest actors popping up in different roles across shows or even within the same show, effectively being "reused" by the "One Chicago" team multiple times. "Chicago Med," the medical-oriented spin-off focused on the goings-on at the emergency department of the Gaffney Chicago Medical Center, has been particularly given to employing the same actors more than once in different capacities.

In a recent Reddit thread, fans of "Chicago Med" took notice of that rather paradoxical casting tactic, and they sounded off on it.

Reddit fans noticed Chicago Med's tendency to reuse actors

On July 8, 2022, Reddit user u/ClutzyDopamine made a post to the r/ChicagoMed subreddit titled "Actor Re-use." In the body of the post, the user pointed out their annoyance at "Chicago Med" not only having the same actors reappear in different roles, but also that said actors seem to always be playing one patient after another.

As was revealed in the post's comments, the original poster was not, in fact, the only one to have paid attention to that casting tidbit. User u/Embarrassed_Ad6587 concurred, writing, "You're right, it's so obvious they do that, too!!" Although the most upvoted comment, by u/slimcargos, admitted to having heard of but not necessarily taken active notice of the repeat castings, with the user writing "Im really bad at noticing this though ive heard it. Any examples so I can look back?," the replies to that comment offered a few examples of actors who popped up on "Chicago Med" or in the "One Chicago" universe more than once.

Brian Tee and Daniel Kyri both had guest spots before joining One Chicago as regulars

Replying to the comment by u/slimcargos, u/taylorcovet wrote, "Dr. Choi was a perp on PD. Ritter (from Fire) was a patient on Med first. I'm sure there are others." Indeed, Brian Tee, who plays LCDR Dr. Ethan Choi on "Med," originally had a single-episode guest spot as one Jesse Kong on Season 2 of "P.D.," while Daniel Kyri, who joined "Fire" as Firefighter Candidate Darren Ritter on Season 7, debuted in the "One Chicago" franchise with a guest role as Lane Tucker on Season 3 of "Med."

Further downthread, the original poster added, "The most glaring one to me was Ramona Davis- the patient who becomes fixated on Dr. Charles. She previously was in the ED as a different patient, had a baby while her dad had a heart attack and came back to life to see the baby. Super dramatic storylines both times." The actress the poster referred to is Cordelia Dewdney, who played both Ramona Davis on a three-episode Season 6 arc, and a different character by the name of Cheryl Martin on the Season 2 premiere, titled "Soul Care."

Reusing guest stars is a Dick Wolf classic

Two comments on the Reddit thread also drew attention to an interesting fact that might help explain the "One Chicago" proclivity for returning to the same well for casting choices. In response to the original poster's bafflement, user u/ljpwyo wrote, "Welcome to the world of Dick Wolf." In a separate comment, u/SMANN1207 voiced a similar sentiment, writing, "Dick Wolf loves that. So many people were reused in law and order too."

It's hard to tell exactly how much sway Wolf, the TV writer and producer who made history as the creator of the "Law & Order" franchise, holds over the week-to-week casting process of the shows he spearheads. But it is true that series in NBC's "Law & Order" franchise have historically displayed just as much of a tendency to cast the same actors multiple times over as on the "One Chicago" shows, for which Wolf serves as executive producer. The list of "Law & Order" multi-returnees is extensive and includes its fair share of veritable TV legends, from Ann Dowd to David Harbour to J. Smith-Cameron to Isiah Whitlock Jr. to Amy Ryan to Denis O'Hare to Wendell Pierce, with several of those stars having appeared on as many as five or seven or nine episodes. "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" has also been known to re-use the occasional guest star, including the likes of Hayden Panettiere, Kyle MacLachlan, Gloria Reuben, and Elizabeth Mitchell.