Pop culture enthusiasts everywhere know that there are plenty of movies and television shows set in Chicago. It’s a large metropolitan area with lots of history, culture, and noteworthy architecture, which makes it the perfect filming location for so many series like Empire, Shameless, and Dick Wolf’s Chicago franchise. It makes sense that so many productions would flock to this area—there’s even a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events working to increase the number of productions hosted in the city of Chicago.
This year alone has seen ten shows set to film or already filmed in the city, a record number that has no plans to slow down. Here are a few of the shows that have chosen to film in Chicago, and some of the integral locations they use:
Although set in New York, the hit series takes advantage of its diverse look and overall affordability. For those who haven’t had a chance to catch an episode of the hit show, Empire tells the story of Empire Record CEO Lucious Lyon and all of the drama that ensues from the personal relationships within the company. If you look closely on filming days, you’ll see New York Police Department cars on the street, especially in neighborhoods near the Waldorf Astoria.
Chicago Fire (NBC)
Chicago Fire, as you may have guessed, trails the members of the Chicago Fire Department and the challenges they face both in their personal lives and professional ones. Lincoln Park has proved to be a particularly attractive filming spot for Chicago Fire in years past, taking over entire blocks on occasion. Sometimes, the film crews even made their way into ordinary homes in the area, instead of sticking to exterior shots, but the most
Chicago PD (NBC)
As part of the Chicago franchise, Chicago PD features Chicago’s finest and the cases they work, as well as their lives outside of the precinct. One of their popular filming spots include the precinct at 2601- 2609 W. 16th Street (which is part of studio property, so visitors aren’t permitted), but you can usually stick around to watch them film.
Some other popular shows that film in Chicago include the remainder of the Chicago franchise, Chicago Med and Chicago Justice, The Chi, and of course, Shameless. And, if 2018’s success has been any indication, there will be more productions than ever, and you can check out the specific locations each day.