Chicago Code aims to do for Chicago what Blue Bloods does for New York. Both are police dramas set in big cities: Blue Bloods is about a family of cops fighting crime in the Big Apple; Chicago Code, however, is about a police supervisor trying to bring down a corrupt Windy City politician.
In my opinion, Blue Bloods is the more audience-friendly show. Chicago Code introduces a complicated plot concept right off the bat. Audiences aren't dumb, but Chicago Code gives us too much too soon. The pilot expects us to process it all: the character setup, the corruption plot, and the inter-character relationships--so much so that I found myself dazed and confused at the end of the hour. In sum, Chicago Code may take some time to build a fan base. But to do so may require too much time, time this show may not have since it's a mid-season replacement.
Blue Bloods, however, is buoyed by big name actors and the combination of family drama and crimes-of-the-week. Tom Selleck leads this cast (rounded out with Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, and Will Estes) as the police commissioner of NYC. His two sons are also cops, his daughter a prosecutor, and his father, well, also an ex-cop and ex-police commissioner. Not only do these characters tackle a crime every week, but each episode contains a scene around the family dinner table where everyone has the opportunity to discuss the crime/issue bothering the detectives, often expressing the opposing views of greater America. These family dinners provide a vehicle to express the battling political opinions of Americans with regard to crime, prosecution, and criminal immunity. And oftentimes, these dinnertime conversations provide revelations and insights into breaking the case (let's just say that there's more to this show than Tom Selleck's mustache).
Blue Bloods wins this shootout, and airs on Wednesday nights at 9/10 central on CBS.