Five big network TV shows are slated to shoot in Chicago over the summer; and according to the Illinois Film Office, this marks a record high for the city.
Joining the returning cast and crew of the NBC series Chicago Fire, a quartet of new one-hour dramas from NBC and ABC also will film in the city from mid-July through the fall: Mind Games, Crisis, Betrayal and the Chicago Fire spin-off, Chicago PD.
For those wondering why a ratings-troubled series like Chicago Fire would get a spin-off before starting Season 2, co-creator Derek Haas [working with partner Michael Brandt and famed Law & Order producer Dick Wolf] says, why not?
“Mike, Matt [Olmstead, executive producer] and I spent four days riding around with cops and detectives, and we got to see the inner workings of the police department, and it was like, why isn’t this a show?” Haas told the Chicago Tribune in May, “The same way that we did it with the fire department, there’s a show in what it means to be a policeman in Chicago. So that’s what we’re going for.”
Another NBC series shooting in the Windy City this summer is the political thriller Crisis, starring Dermot Mulroney and Gillian Anderson. The pilot was originally shot in Los Angeles, but the series will move to Chicago for production of the first season. Shooting will commence in July, with a mid-season premiere scheduled to air on NBC after the Winter Olympics.
New shows from ABC, Betrayal and Mind Games, will also begin filming in Chicago in the months to come.
The legal drama Betrayal stars James Cromwell, Stuart Townsend and Hannah Ware of former Chicago-filmed series Boss. Ware plays an unhappily married woman who begins an affair with a lawyer, who just happens to be squaring off against her husband in court. The series is set to premiere on ABC this fall.
Mind Games is another high-stakes drama starring Christian Slater and Steve Zahn as brothers, one bipolar and one a con artist, who run an agengy using psychology to solve client’s problems.
These five shows, alongside three mega-budget features, could make 2013 the state’s highest grossing year ever—an estimated $225 million.
As for those epic films taking over our streets this summer, the Wachowski’s Jupiter Ascending (starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum) will spend two months here, while Transformers 4 (with Mark Wahlberg in the lead) is expected to shoot through October. A third sci-fi blockbuster, the Chicago-set dystopian thriller Divergent, wrapped up filming at Navy Pier in June.
Adding to the industry boom is an 8-part docuseries from Sundance Productions/CNN called Chicagoland. Produced by Robert Redford, the “city-reality” series is set to debut on CNN early next year.
Which shows are your most excited to see filming in Chicago?
Note: Although Divergent has finished scenes at Navy Pier, the film will continue to shoot in Chicago through July. Keep an eye out for stars Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet and Zoe Kravitz this summer!