What’s filming in Chicago in 2020

What’s filming in Chicago in 2020

By Tracy Swartz
Chicago Tribune |
Feb 05, 2020 | 8:49 AM


John Slattery stars in the Fox drama "NeXt," due out in 2020. The series is filming in Chicago. (Ed Ariquel/Fox)


It’s one and done for the musical drama “Soundtrack.” The Jenna Dewan series dropped Dec. 18 on Netflix. The show — which was set in Los Angeles, but filmed in Chicago — was officially canceled just weeks later.

“Soundtrack” is out — but there are other TV series shooting in Chicago. Here’s a look at the projects filming now, filming soon or that have recently wrapped filming here.


Shooting now

“Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Chicago Med”

Dick Wolf’s NBC franchise of first-responder shows set and filmed in Chicago are slated to shoot their current seasons here into the spring. If these shows are renewed for another season, cast members will likely return in the summer. The “Med” cast and crew recently celebrated filming of their 100th episode, which is scheduled to air March 18.


This is the sixth and final season of “Empire,” Fox’s hip-hop drama set in New York, but filmed in Chicago. Filming of past seasons has wrapped in March. Longtime cast member Jussie Smollett is not expected to return before the series finale after being accused of faking a hate crime against himself in Chicago last year. The final 10 episodes of “Empire,” which stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, are set to start airing March 3.


Chris Rock leads the fourth season of FX’s “Fargo,” which follows two rival crime bosses as they trade their youngest sons to try to strike peace in 1950s Kansas City. The new season, which is slated to premiere April 19, has been filming in the Chicago area since the fall.



“Mad Men” actor John Slattery and “The First” alum Fernanda Andrade star on the Fox series, about a group of people trying to track down a rogue Artificial Intelligence. “NeXt,” a fixture around Chicago for months, is expected to premiere in the spring.

“Station Eleven”

HBO Max’s “Station Eleven” is a 10-episode flu pandemic drama based on Emily St. John Mandel’s novel of the same name. Mackenzie Davis (“Halt and Catch Fire”) and Himesh Patel (“Yesterday”) star on the series, which started filming in the Chicago area in January.


Ready to roll

“61st Street”

“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” alum Courtney B. Vance stars in this AMC network courtroom drama about a black high school athlete entangled in the “infamously corrupt Chicago criminal justice system.” The first of two eight-episode seasons of “61st Street” is expected to premiere in 2021. Production is set to begin in Chicago in late spring. “Black Panther” star Michael B. Jordan is an executive producer.


The first season of the CW series “Batwoman” was mostly shot in Vancouver, but some cast members filmed exterior scenes in Chicago last year. “Batwoman” is slated to return in late February to film more of Season 1. A CW spokeswoman said there will be some stunts, but the main actors won’t be here. Ruby Rose (“Orange is the New Black”) plays the titular character. The next new Season 1 episode is scheduled to air Feb. 16.


The 11th and final season of “Shameless,” helmed by William H. Macy, is slated to premiere this summer. The Showtime series, which follows a dysfunctional Chicago family as they get into high jinks around town, typically films here two weeks each season and on the Warner Brothers backlot in the Los Angeles area the rest of the time. The Season 10 finale aired Jan. 26.

“South Side”

Comedy Central in August ordered a 10-episode second season of “South Side,” a workplace comedy set in Englewood. Production on Season 2 is expected to start in late spring or early summer in Chicago, per a Comedy Central spokesman. The series was created by Bashir Salahuddin (“Glow”), Diallo Riddle (“Marlon”) and Sultan Salahuddin. The Salahuddins grew up on the South Side.

“Work in Progress”

The Showtime comedy follows a 45-year-old self-identified fat, queer, Chicago dyke (played by longtime Chicago improviser Abby McEnany in a semi-autobiographical role), whose misfortune leads her into a relationship with a younger, transgender man. The Season 1 finale aired Jan. 26. Production on Season 2 is slated to start in Chicago in late summer.

Work in Progress

Coming soon to the big and small screen


The “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 Chicago horror flick “Candyman” is due in theaters June 12. The film returns to the now-gentrified site of the Cabrini-Green housing project featured in the original movie. Filming took place in Chicago in August and September.

“Get Out” writer/director and Chicago improv alum Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld wrote the sequel’s screenplay. Nia DaCosta (“Little Woods”) directed, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (“Watchmen”) and Teyonah Parris (“Chi-Raq”) star.


"The Chi”

The third season of “The Chi” doesn’t premiere until July 5, but the Showtime series has been making headlines for months. Jason Mitchell was cut from the South Side show amid allegations of misconduct, and Justin Hillian (“Snowfall”) replaced Ayanna Floyd Davis as showrunner. The new season is slated to feature series creator Lena Waithe playing a Chicago mayoral candidate. La La Anthony (“BH90210”), Chicago native Lil Rel Howery (“Rel”) and “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member Kandi Burruss are among the guest stars. Filming wrapped here in December.


The Chi

“Come As You Are”

This dramedy follows as two love-starved, wheelchair-bound men (played by “Money Monster” actor Grant Rosenmeyer and “Lodge 49” alum Hayden Szeto) and their blind buddy (“Grandfathered” alum Ravi Patel) road trip to a Canadian brothel. “Empire” star Gabourey Sidibe plays their driver. The movie — which filmed in the Chicago area in the summer of 2018 — is scheduled to be available via Apple TV and at the Gene Siskel Film Center starting Feb. 14.


The HBO comedy thriller from “Fleabag” star Phoebe Waller-Bridge and her collaborator, Vicky Jones, is due out April 12. “Nurse Jackie” alum Merritt Wever plays Ruby, who leaves behind her humdrum life when she receives a text from her college sweetheart (played by “Star Wars” fixture Domhnall Gleeson) inviting her to meet him in New York to fulfill a pact they made 17 years earlier. Waller-Bridge has a recurring role. Cast and crew were spotted filming in Chicago in October.

“The Thing About Harry”

Two Chicago college students who were enemies in high school head to their Missouri hometown for an engagement party in this Freeform network movie. Things take a turn when Harry (Niko Terho of “Sweetbitter”) reveals to out-and-proud Sam (“Grey’s Anatomy” actor Jake Borelli) that he is pansexual. The movie, which filmed in Chicago in November, is due out Feb. 15.

The Thing About Harry

“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Aaron Sorkin’s historical drama about the trial of seven men accused of conspiring to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago is set to hit some theaters Sept. 25. The film was shot in Chicago and New Jersey. Sacha Baron Cohen (“Borat”), Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”) and Jeremy Strong (“Succession”) star.

Still awaiting word

Premiere dates have not yet been announced for these Chicago-shot projects: Netflix’s “Tiny Pretty Things” and “Thunder Force”; HBO’s “Lovecraft Country”; the movie thriller “Broadcast Signal Intrusion” and Amazon’s “Utopia.”

Gone, but not forgotten

Joining “Soundtrack” in the TV show graveyard are the Fox legal series “Proven Innocent,” the Netflix anthology series “Easy,” the CBS drama “The Red Line” and the “Suits” spinoff “Pearson,” from the USA Network. Those four Chicago-set shows had premieres last year and filmed at least some of their action here.



Tracy Swartz reports on Chicago TV and film production. She joined the Tribune A&E staff in April 2015. She previously covered Chicago transit and homicides for the Tribune's RedEye edition. She has a political science degree from the University of Florida and a master's in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield.





Coming Attractions