nullIt's becoming a coming practice among TV networks… making episodes of shows (premieres especially) available online ahead of their TV debuts.

NBC doesn't start airing one of its new dramas, Chicago Fire, a new action/drama from Law & Order creator Dick Wolf, until next Wednesday, October 10 at 10 pm ET, but you can watch the premiere episode right now, since the network has uploaded it to the web. So, it's all legal.

The series will follow the lives of the men and women of the Chicago Fire Department, and stars Taylor KinneyJesse SpencerMonica RaymundDavid Eigenberg, our man Eamonn Walker (as station Chief Wallace Boden).

Here's a full description of the show:

No job is more stressful, dangerous or exhilarating than those of the Firefighters, Rescue Squad and Paramedics of Chicago Firehouse 51. These are the courageous men and women who forge headfirst into danger when everyone else is running the other way. But the enormous responsibilities of the job also take a personal toll. With big reputations and hefty egos, the pressure to perform and make split-second decisions is bound to put squad members at odds. When a tragedy claims one of their own, there's plenty of guilt and blame to go around. In the middle of a divorce, Lt. Matthew Casey tries to go about business as usual, but can't help butting heads with the brash Lt. Kelly Severide of the Rescue Squad – and each blames the other for their fallen team member. When it's "go-time," though, they put their differences aside and put everything on the line for each other. This is a look inside one of America's noblest professions.

Another actor in this to note is Merle Dandridge (no relation to Dorothy Dandridge as far as I know) – primarily a stage actress (Rent on Broadway, among others), with a few TV credits including 24.

3:10 to Yuma writers Derek Haas and Michael Brandt, handled teleplay duties here.

Recall my post from about 2 weeks ago that said only 32% of new shows return for a second season; will this be one of the 32%?

Watch episode 1 of Chicago Fire below, as the series begins its journey: