From Humboldt Park’s recent surge of vintage shops to Wicker Park’s mind-blowing culinary scene and Grant Park’s 25 Years of Lollapalooza extravaganza this month, the lakefront metropolis of Chicago has never felt so dynamic. See everything we're loving about the Windy City right now.
Chicago might be known for its epic deep-dish pizza, The Bean that sits in Millenium Park, and as the first home of the Obamas, but did you know the Illinois city also has become a mini Hollywood? Yep, some of the biggest shows on television right now, like Empire and Shameless, are filmed in the Windy City.
Of course, it’s no surprise that NBC’s Chicago franchise films there. In fact, the Emmy award-winning executive producer of the franchise, Dick Wolf, gave Chicago a starring role in his productions. From the original Chicago Fire to the newest Chicago Justice (which premieres mid-season), the city is the heartbeat of each show—it’s no wonder they chose to film exclusively on location.
Plus, Fox, which distributes Empire, recently added two more from its latest round of pilots (APB and The Exorcist) to film in the city as well.
Check out all of the Chicago-based TV shows below. Then, next time you’re tuning in, try to spot your favorite landmarks!
2. Chicago Med
The sophomore season of NBC's intense medical drama premieres Sept. 22. The show takes a look at the day-to-day chaos of Chicago's newest trauma center, delving into the lives of the doctors, nurses, and staff who hold it together. Yaya DaCosta, Torrey DeVitto, Colin Donnell, and Oliver Platt star.
3. Chicago P.D.
Much like Chicago Fire, NBC's Chicago P.D. will leave you on the edge of your seat. The police drama follows the Chicago Police Department's Intelligence Unit, which combats the city's most heinous crimes (drug trafficking, murders, gangs). Sophia Bush stars, along with Jason Beghe, Jon Seda, Jesse Lee Soffer, and more. Catch the season premiere when it returns Sept. 21.
4. Chicago Justice
The newest member of NBC's Chicago franchise is heading to the court room. Premiering in mid-season, Justice follows the Chicago-based State's Attorney team of prosecutors and investigators. Philip Winchester, Carl Weathers, Nazneen Contractor, Joelle Carter, and Ryan-James Hatanaka will star.
The much-anticipated third season of Empire will return Sept. 21 on Fox. The music industry drama takes place in New York City, but in reality, the entire show is filmed on location in the Windy City. You'd never know! The show's epic cast includes Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard, Bryshere Y. Gray, Jussie Smollett, Trai Byers, Grace Gealey, Kaitlin Doubleday, Gabourey Sidibe, Serayah, and more.
6. The Exorcist
Four decades after the horror film released, Fox's rebooted The Exorcist series will premiere Sept. 23. The psychological thriller will follow two priests as they take on cases of horrifying demonic possession. Geena Davis stars, along with Alfonso Herrera, Ben Daniels, Brianne Howey, Hannah Kasulke, and more.
This new police drama premiering mid-season on Fox tackles the Chicago Police Department's (fictional) downfall, from sky-high crime rates, officer-involved shootings, and corruption. A tech billionaire (Justin Kirk) takes matters into his own hands after witnessing a violent crime, investing millions of his own money in the 13th Precinct with revolutionary technology that he believes will change things for the better. Also starring is Natalie Martinez, Eric Winter, Ernie Hudson, Taylor Handley, Tamberla Perry, and Caitlin Stasey.
Although most of this Showtime drama is shot in a Los Angeles studio, the production shoots on location in Chicago twice a season. The series, about an alcoholic single father and his six independent and street-smart kids, will return for its seventh season Oct. 2. Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy, Jeremy Allen White, Joan Cusack, Shanola Hampton, Steve Howey, Dermot Mulroney, and more star.
This new Amazon series, set to premiere in 2017, is a political thriller that follows intelligence officer John Tavner, whose latest assignment is to prevent Iran from going nuclear. The show stars newcomer Michael Dorman in the lead role, alongside Terry O'Quinn, Michael Chernus, Kathleen Munroe, Aliette Opheim, and Kurtwood Smith.