January 26, 2021

Chicago, three series for a city | TV

Chicago, three series for a city | TV


On the streets of Chicago, Al Capone and Eliot Ness clashed several times (The Untouchables, Boardwalk Empire), Steve Urkel did not stop messing with the cry of "was it me?" (House things), George Clooney worked as a doctor (Emergency), the Scofield brothers managed to escape from a maximum security prison (Prison Break), Balki visited his cousin Larry (Distant cousins) and there was the law firm in which Alicia Florrick learned not to be the shadow of her husband (The Good Wife). Chicago has a long tradition as a series stage, but nothing like what the producer Dick Wolf has ridden in the last five years around the city with three successful fictions related to each other. And, unlike those cited at the beginning, shot entirely in the city.

The franchise Chicago, which covers in three series the immediate response services of the city: the police (Chicago P.D ), firefighters (Chicago Fire) and the urgencies of a hospital (Chicago Med), they are almost a love letter from NBC, which has one of its main venues there, and from Wolf to the third largest city in the US, behind New York and Los Angeles (the two places where they were recorded). the beginning series). In principle, there were even four series: it also existed for a season Chicago Justice, a fiction of lawyers that was canceled. "A mistake. It was working better than three other series that were new and went down in their second season, "Wolf comments during a visit to the series to which EL PAÍS is invited by Calle 13 on the occasion of the premiere of the sixth season of Chicago P.D. (Today, 22.50, the last of the fifth at 22.00).


Frame of the sixth season of 'Chicago P.D.'.enlarge photo
Frame of the sixth season of 'Chicago P.D.'.

The Cinespace studios, six kilometers from the city center, are taken by the three NBC productions. Right next door there is a brewery where the interpreters and the producers attend to the press. With a series that reaches its sixth installment and that coexists in the franchise with two similar ones, what is the biggest challenge? "Achieve 22 compelling stories [por el número de capítulos] and treat each one as if it were a movie, "explains Rick Eid, executive producer of police fiction, and how does it differ from the rest of the police occupying the grill?" In the way we use crime stories to tell personal stories and the way in which we use criminal investigation to create personal ethical dilemmas for the characters. We do not always do the right thing or the heroic, we do what is most honest for the character, "says the producer.

Each chapter of Chicago P.D. it is recorded in approximately eight days, four in the studio, where a police station built from an old one in the center that no longer exists has been almost completely recreated. The other four days, outdoors, in nearby streets and from time to time in the same center, so that the city is always present. Why was Chicago chosen? "Because I shot in New York for 20 years," says Wolf, creator of the franchise. Law, which takes place in that city. "Chicago is in the middle of America, the vibrations here are different from how they are on the two coasts, I've shot a lot in Los Angeles and New York, but this city has always been my favorite, even before coming to shoot."

Wolf already created a quarter of a century ago a series of doctors set in the city, The Human Factor, but it only lasted one season. "I saw that Chicago is an amazing city, with the best architecture in America, I have never achieved the level of cooperation we have here every day." The only question I received from the mayor when it all started was, "Is this going to be good? for Chicago? 'And I answered, call Mike Bloomberg [alcalde de Nueva York entre 2002 y 2013] and ask him how he has passed Law and order there, "the producer concludes.

The series also tries to keep up with the affairs of the city. In the sixth installment of the police fiction there is a new character that will link with one of the recurring themes of today throughout the season. "We are going to explore the idea of ​​elections in Chicago, there is a real election for the mayoralty in November and we want to add that component to the season," says Eid. The franchise already accumulates almost 500 chapters and seems not to run out, with its mix of telenovela drama with plots inspired by real cases. Chicago P.D. has an ex-homicide between his writers that ensures that everything that comes out of the series is as real as possible. And the three series have Dick Wolf as a great boss, who seems to know about success stories.

Crossroad

The interpreters Marina Squerciati and LaRoyce Hawkins in the police station created in the studio of 'Chicago P.D.'.
The interpreters Marina Squerciati and LaRoyce Hawkins in the police station created in the studio of 'Chicago P.D.'.

For the US network NBC, since this year, Wednesday nights are for his three fictions, he broadcasts them in a row. This loyalty to the viewers, which also helps that fictions share secondary characters and from time to time the three cross their plots. "These crossovers They are always a challenge and they are always too expensive. They take too much time, but the results are spectacular. Having the three series connected gives them the chance to survive in the long term. Every time we do one, the audience numbers are above the average, "explains Wolf Dic. In the sixth season of Chicago P.D., the crossover will be seen in the second episode (the second of the fourth in the one of doctors and the second of the seventh in the one of firemen). In Spain each fiction is broadcast by a chain: Chicago P.D. on Calle 13, Chicago Fire in AXN and Chicago Med in TNT.

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