Chicago Med still has a couple of months before returning from a break in season 8, and now fans have encouraging news for the rest of the wait. Marlene Barrett, who has been playing Maggie Lockwood since the beginning, has signed a contract to participate in the popular NBC medical drama for the foreseeable future. After the news broke, the actress spread the information and celebrated.
According to Deadline, Marlene Barrett has signed a new multi-year contract under which she will remain at Chicago Med for season 8 and beyond. The medical drama will come to the end of its three-season extension from 2020 with an 8th season, but the three One Chicago shows are such consistent winners for NBC that the future looks bright for Med, as well as for Fire and PD. The actress posted a message on Instagram about her return:
That’s it! IT’S OFFICIAL. More for Maggie – Love the Wolf Pack! I’m looking forward to season 8.
The seventh season was stressful for Maggie, as her relationship with Vanessa only deepened. She had several hours of excitement when she thought she was pregnant, followed by a health threat. In the end, she turned out to be as healthy as ever since she went into remission, but things got complicated again when Vanessa wanted to meet her biological father. Despite some fears that sparks would fly again with her ex, Maggie still introduced them. (You can now return to the broadcast of Season 7 with a Peacock subscription.)
Even though Maggie wasn’t part of the huge cliffhanger that left Will and Dylan trapped in a burning apartment building, Season 7 definitely didn’t end with a lack of storylines that Honey has to continue in season 8 and beyond for her character. If Vanessa stays in her life and also builds a relationship with her biological father, then Maggie may have to deal with her ex on a permanent basis, which could be bad news for her marriage to Ben.
Good news for fans: confirmation that Maggie is not going anywhere. Marlene Barrett’s new contract makes her the last of the original cast to sign on for several future seasons. Nick Gelfus, Brian Tee, S. Epata Merkerson and Oliver Platt signed new multi-year contracts in 2021 before the 7th season. Barrett’s contract was only due to expire this year, so she wasn’t part of that group at the time.
With its update, fans can expect less staff turnover in season 8 than in the previous couple of seasons. The show shook up at the end of season 6 with a farewell to the two original stars. Yaya DaCosta, who played April, left Med to star in the Fox series “Our People.” (Fox has since canceled the series after one season.) Torri DeVitto also left before season 7, and Natalie’s departure seems to have put an end to Manstead forever.
Another regular on the series left in season 7, when newcomer Kristen Hager left as Dr. Stevie Hammer, who came to the emergency room to help fill the holes left by Dacosta and DeVitto. She was part of the cast for less than a full season, and her departure opened the door for Jesse Schram to return as Dr. Hannah Asher. Now all the remaining original stars will be back, and I think it’s safe to say that Marlene Barrett isn’t the only one celebrating the news that there are many more Maggies on the way.
Chicago Med returns to NBC with the Season 8 premiere on Wednesday, September 21 at 8:00 p.m. ET to open the One Chicago action Night with the season 11 premiere of Chicago Fire at 9 p.m. and the premiere of the 10th season of Chicago Police at 22:00. To learn about some viewing options for the remaining months before Maggie and Co return to the small screen, check out our TV premiere schedule for 2022.