WBEZ | The Chicago Code http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-code Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago-style politics now a common trope of TV dramas http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-10/chicago-style-politics-now-common-trope-tv-dramas-103205 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Promo Image.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>While accusations have been levied for years of certain politicians practicing &quot;Chicago-style politics,&quot; television dramas didn&#39;t fully embrace the subject until recent years. I would argue that the charges bandied about during Barack Obama&#39;s 2008 presidential run are largely responsible for the rise of this type of show.</p><p>First there was <em>The Good Wife</em>, a CBS hour-long drama that premiered in September of 2009, ten months after Obama&#39;s election and nine months after Governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested by the FBI, reinforcing all the claims of corruption Obama had fought throughout the campaign.</p><p>Here&#39;s star Julianna Margulies talking about her approach to politics, and family connections.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/0RI5D-bUo0s?rel=0" width="620"></iframe></p><p>Then in February 2011 Fox debuted <em>The Chicago Code</em>, a police drama that featured a corrupt alderman played by Delroy Lindo.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/DCxvfah20hw?rel=0" width="620"></iframe></p><p>Unlike <em>The Good Wife,</em> <em>The Chicago Code</em> was cancelled before it completed its first season.</p><p>It was only five later that TV viewers had a new fictional Chicago to explore, as Starz launched their ambitious drama <em>Boss</em> starring Kelsey Grammer. Easily the darkest of the three shows, <em>Boss</em> features a mayor loosely based on the Daley dynasty, plus lots of gratuitous sex scenes. Those scenes often feature Kathleen Robertson&#39;s character, who she says she also studied up on Chicago politics before taking on the role of mayoral cheif of staff.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="465" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/aTqm8ThrqYU?rel=0" width="620"></iframe></p><p>Kelsey Grammer won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in 2012, but was snubbed by the Emmy voters. What did the Republican actor attribute his loss to? Essentially Chicago-style politics. Here&#39;s <a href="http://www.politico.com/blogs/click/2012/08/grammer-suggests-emmy-snub-was-political-132184.html" target="_blank">a Politico piece</a> about Grammer&#39;s appearance on <em>The Tonight Show</em>:</p><blockquote><p>Asked to guess why he got snubbed, the actor said, &ldquo;Well, I mean it may have to do with several, several things honestly. But I think it&rsquo;s possible &ndash; I mean, I am a declared, out of the closet Republican in Hollywood.&nbsp; So, do I believe it&rsquo;s possible that some young voting actor or even older voting member for the Emmys would sit there and go, &lsquo;That&rsquo;s a great performance, but I hate everything he stands for?&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>He added sarcastically, &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t believe that&rsquo;s possible.&rdquo;</p></blockquote></p> Wed, 17 Oct 2012 13:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-10/chicago-style-politics-now-common-trope-tv-dramas-103205 Daily Rehearsal: 'Boss' casts locally http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-05/daily-rehearsal-boss-casts-locally-88731 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-July/2011-07-05/boss-banner.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>1. <strong><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">A little belated, but Michelle Williams</span></span></strong> was <a href="http://twitter.com/#%21/steppenwolfthtr">spotted at <em>Middletown </em>last week</a>. And yes, that's Michelle Williams of <em>Dawson's Creek</em> fame, not the other D.C., <em>Destiny's Child</em>.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-05/RobSwimming01.jpg" style="width: 286px; height: 400px; margin: 10px; float: left;" title="Get behind 'The Front Page' with this guy"><strong><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">2. TimeLine's <a href="http://www.timelinetheatre.com/front_page/index.htm"><em>The Front Page</em></a> has been extended through July 17</span></span></strong>, and WBEZ's own Rob Wildeboer is involved. No, he won't be acting, but he's among several Chicago news reporters who will be present for a post-show discussion&nbsp;<em>Exclusive! Chicago’s Top Reporters on&nbsp;</em>The Front Page<em>: Same Story, Different Century </em>on July 10. Rob will be joined by&nbsp;Elizabeth Brackett (WTTW), Janan Hanna (Reuters, Chicago News Coop, Huffington Post), Paul Meincke (WLS-TV), and Lester Munson, all of whom have covered the Blagojevich trial.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. There were live performances of the Declaration of Independence</strong></span></span> <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-29/daily-rehearsal-start-planning-your-4th-july-88498">this weekend</a>, but every year, NPR's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-07-03/reading-declaration-independence-aloud-88697">Morning Edition reads it aloud</a> on-air on the Fourth of July. It's slow and steady and <em>serious</em>, and takes about 9 minutes.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Mary Hollis Inboden is having her day in the sun</strong></span></span>; the Southern-born actress is currently starring in <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-27/daily-rehearsal-5-lesbians-eating-quiche-88391"><em>5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche</em></a>, and though her <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/unscripted-blog/213085/spot-chicago-actors-on-the-chicago-code">role at Jennifer Beals' assistant</a> on <em>The Chicago Code</em> ended with the shows cancellation, she's moved over to the Kelsey Grammer helmed&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/movies/ct-mov-0701-chicago-closeup-20110702,0,4360930.column"><em>Boss</em></a>. She's part of a grand tradition of Chicago actors on the show, which has tried to be anti-<em>The Good Wife</em> and shoot locally.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/joffrey-ballet-planning-lock-out-dancers-88702">Labor disputes</a> between Joffrey dancers and the company continue</strong></span></span>; after news broke of a lockout this weekend, union organizers are now arguing that it's just an attempt to gain publicity and pressure the dancers into bending to their will. Let's hope this all ends peacefully, folks.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Tue, 05 Jul 2011 15:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-05/daily-rehearsal-boss-casts-locally-88731 'Chicago Code' is canceled; city loses $25 million http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-code-canceled-city-loses-25-million-86390 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-11/THE CHICAGO CODE Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (L) visits the set of THE CHICAGO CODE Thursday, September 16 in Chicago. Also pictured Executive Producer Shawn Ryan (C) and Jennifer Beals (R).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Fox Broadcasting Company announced the cancellation of five new shows this season on Tuesday, <a href="http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-alan-watching/posts/fox-cancels-the-chicago-code">including&nbsp;<em>The Chicago Code</em></a>, a police drama set and filmed locally.</p><p>Rich Moskal, director of the Chicago Film Office, reported that production of the pilot and first 12 episodes of <em>Chicago Code</em> generated an estimated $25 million for the city in production-related costs.</p><p>“Losing that is disappointing,” Moskal said. “What’s tremendous about television series like <em>Chicago Code</em> is how consistently they’re contributing to the local economy.”</p><p>Moskal says despite the attention paid to the film industry, shooting a television series can be far more lucrative for a city than a movie. &nbsp;That's, in part, because a television show creates work and purchases goods and services over an extended period of time. &nbsp;But he said the local acting community was probably the most visible beneficiary of the <em>Code</em>’s presence, calling the new roles created every episode a tremendous opportunity for actors. &nbsp;</p><p>Even so, all is not lost for Chicago.</p><p>"We're in a fortunate position of not having all our eggs in one basket," Moskal said.&nbsp;</p><p>That's because <em>Chicago Code</em>&nbsp;is not the only show being filmed in Chicago right now. &nbsp;The new&nbsp;Starz show&nbsp;<em>Boss,&nbsp;</em>starring Kelsey Gramer as a fictional Chicago mayor<i>, </i>began filming a few weeks ago, as did the highly touted <em>Playboy </em>from NBC. Moskal believes signs look good for <em>Playboy</em>'s future, given its “cool factor” (the show has piggybacked off the current popularity of <em>Mad Men</em> by looking at the lives of Playboy bunnies in the 1960s).</p><p>Moskal also mentioned <a href="http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news/2011/04/20/starz-kelsey-grammers-boss-announces-casting-and-start-of-production-today-331213/20110420starz01/"><em>Powers</em></a>, a pilot about detectives who deal with superhero homicides, based off the comic of the same name. <em>Powers </em>is attached to FX, and is set to start filming in July.&nbsp;</p><p>On Tuesday, Governor Pat Quinn met with Kelsey Grammer and the producers of <em>Boss </em>to celebrate the opening of a new film and television studio at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. The state is investing $5 million in the project, which will become the largest facility of its kind outside of Hollywood and &nbsp;has enough space to accommodate three to six productions at a time. It's estimated to create thousands of new jobs.</p><p>In 2010, the Illinois Film Office (IFO) reported $161 million in spending, and more than 8,000 job hires. Managing Director of IFO,&nbsp;Betsy Steinberg, said that though they were disappointed with the cancellation&nbsp;of&nbsp;<em>Chicago Code</em>, IFO was not concerned about the future of Cinespace.</p><p>"You know,&nbsp;series television is not for the faint of heart. It’s always, always a rollercoaster.&nbsp;The studio is, I believe, going to be busy regardless," Steinberg noted. "[The cancellation] does not spell disaster for the community."</p><p><em>The Chicago Code</em> was critically well-received, and starred Jennifer Beals as the police department's first female superintendent. It paid homage to Chicago's corrupt political history with several character arcs, including one that featured Delroy Lindo as&nbsp;a corrupt alderman. Its ratings had been waffling, however, for several weeks, leaving its future uncertain.</p><p>Responding to the news of cancellation last night, creator Shawn Ryan, a native of Rockford, IL, tweeted that <em>The Chicago Cod</em>e will be finishing out its season, with the final two episodes airing in the next two weeks.</p><p>"Fox suits loved the show, but have a business to run," <a href="http://twitter.com/#%21/ShawnRyanTV">he tweeted</a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Updated 5/11/11 @10:40pm&nbsp;</em><em>Previous version was updated to correct typographical errors and to reflect that the Fox announcement was made on Tuesday.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 11 May 2011 16:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-code-canceled-city-loses-25-million-86390 Jennifer Beals is top cop on new TV show 'The Chicago Code' http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-04/jennifer-beals-top-cop-new-tv-show-chicago-code-81776 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Jennifer Beals 2.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000884/" target="_blank">Jennifer Beals</a> has had the good fortune of playing not one but two iconic roles: an eighties-era welder slash exotic dancer, and a very 21<sup>st</sup> century career-oriented but commitment-challenged lesbian. Now the Golden Globe nominee has another potential break-out role - Chicago's top cop Teresa Colvin. Beals stars in <a href="http://www.fox.com/chicagocode/" target="_blank"><em>The Chicago Code</em></a>, which premieres next Monday on Fox. The show is set in Chicago and the production has plenty of other local ties.<br /><br />The Chicago Code&rsquo;s creator is <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0752841/" target="_blank">Shawn Ryan</a>, who hails from Rockford, Illinois, and a Chicago detective is on staff to check the show&rsquo;s accuracy and atmosphere. Of course Jennifer Beals has her own Chicago connection &ndash; she&rsquo;s a native of the South Side.</p><p><em>DJ Ron Trent Music Button: Omar (feat. Reel People), &quot;Outta Love&quot;</em></p></p> Fri, 04 Feb 2011 15:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-04/jennifer-beals-top-cop-new-tv-show-chicago-code-81776 Series TV returns to Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/onstagebackstage-series-tv-returns-chicago <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/detroit 187.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In the last few years, at least two blockbuster feature films have shot on the streets of Chicago: &quot;<a href="http://thedarkknight.warnerbros.com/dvdsite/">Batman, The Dark Knight</a>&quot; in 2007 (released in 2008) and &quot;<a href="http://www.transformersmovie.com/">Transformers 3, Dark of the Moon</a>&quot; just last year (release date next July 1). Such multi-million dollar giants are sensational for Chicago-based suppliers of film equipment and services, and for Chicago actors, too, who fill in many of the usually-small background and cameo roles.</p><p>But good as a big feature film can be, from an actor's perspective nothing can beat episodic television; a weekly TV show shooting in or near Chicago that needs a fresh set of local faces every seven days. Episodic TV is the gift that keeps on giving, and at this particular moment it's a rich gift for Chicago talent due to two network shows, &quot;<a href="http://abc.go.com/shows/detroit-1-8-7/index">Detroit 1-8-7</a>&quot; on ABC and the upcoming Fox series, &quot;<a href="http://www.fox.com/chicagocode/">The Chicago Code</a>.&quot; The Chicago casting for both shows is done by <a href="http://www.simoncasting.com">Simon Casting,</a> headed by Claire Simon, a 15-year veteran of the casting biz.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img width="400" height="533" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-January/2011-01-12/detroit 187.jpg" alt="" /></p><p>As the title suggests, &quot;Detroit 1-8-7&quot; is filmed in Detroit&mdash;something even more rare than an episodic show shot in Chicago&mdash;but the nearest large talent pool is us, so Simon reports she casts between seven and 25 local actors in every episode of the show, and there have been 18 so far. The total for Season One of the program has been 161 Chicago actors, not counting co-star Jon Michael Hill, a member of the <a href="http://www.steppenwolf.org/ensemble/">Steppenwolf Ensemble</a>. &quot;There's an LA casting director, too,&quot; Simon says, &quot;and every episode we determine which roles might come out of LA and which might come out of Chicago or Detroit.&quot; It's too early to know whether or not there will be a Season Two for &quot;Detroit 1-8-7,&quot; but the reviews have been good.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img width="400" height="588" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-January/2011-01-12/the chicago code.jpg" alt="" /></p><p style="text-align: left;">&quot;The Chicago Code&quot; is even better for the local acting and crafts community because it's shot here on the streets, and on the Chicago Studio City sound stages. The show, which stars Jennifer Beals and Jason Clarke, wrapped up shooting 12 episodes (plus a pilot) here in December. It debuts on Fox on Monday, Feb. 7. For its dozen episodes, Simon Casting filled 197 roles with Chicago actors.</p><p>The roles available for local actors on the two programs have ranged from day players with one line to guest star performances. Large or small, keep in mind that all of the roles are covered by an AFTRA union contract which guarantees a pleasant-to-juicy paycheck that might range from a few hundred dollars for one day's work to several thousand for a guest star role. And actors are well-fed on a set, too! Background extras are finding work as well, although that's a separate casting task. Among the well-known Chicago actors engaged by the shows have been Tony Award-winner Deanna Dunagan, Steppenwolf's Francis Guinan and James Vincent Meredith.</p><p>Eric Chaudron, the executive director of AFTRA's Chicago office, agrees that episodic TV is a great boon for the local talent community. He has high hopes for &quot;The Chicago Code,&quot; which has been developed for TV by Shawn Ryan, a producer with both a track record of success (&quot;<a href="http://www.sonypictures.com/tv/shows/theshield/">The Shield</a>&quot;) and local roots (he's from Rockford). Chaudron points out that the last episodic show to film here was the late Patrick Swayze's final project, &quot;<a href="http://www.aetv.com/the-beast/index.jsp">The Beast</a>,&quot; which lasted only one season (2008-2009). The last successful TV series filmed here, and then only in part, was &quot;Prison Break.&quot;</p><p>Perhaps the greatest frustration for everyone attached to the local film industry is when a show pretends to be set in Chicago but isn't filmed here, the current example being &quot;<a href="http://www.cbs.com/primetime/the_good_wife/">The Good Wife</a>&quot; on CBS. They send a second unit team here periodically to shoot background exteriors while the real filming and casting&mdash;are done in New York. As smart as TV producers are, they still sometimes make dumbass errors and you can see one in &quot;The Good Wife&quot; where they haven't figured out that Chicago doesn't have parking meters any more!</p></p> Wed, 12 Jan 2011 16:59:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/onstagebackstage-series-tv-returns-chicago