Chicago architecture circa 1982 (courtesy of an intro to a short-lived TV series)

April 13, 2010

The Sun-Times reported a few days ago that six television pilots were being shot (or scheduled for shooting) here in Chicago in 2010. For reasons that mystify me, that got me thinking about "Chicago Story," a TV series that ran briefly--very briefly--on NBC in 1982 that centered on the lives of doctors, lawyers and cops in the Windy City. The drama was unusual then for two reasons: the show was 90 minutes long, as opposed to the standard hour; and it was actually filmed here, which used to be a rarity, especially for a television show. The series began as a 1981 made-for-TV movie.

Watch the opening credits here and its startling to see how gritty the city looks compared to today. Watch for the John Hancock Building, a night shot of North Michigan Avenue, the Chicago Theater marquee, but also Cook County Hospital, the Criminal Courts Building at 26th and California, the old Sun-Times Building, the Donnelly Plant on Cermak and white EL cars. And can somebody tell me what that building is in the clip where Vincent Baggetta (there's an actor you don't see anymore) misses the football?

Dennis Franz, with hair, plays a Chicago cop. The great Linda Clifford sings the theme.