?Ridealong’ ends lengthy L.A. drought

A quartet of happy campers returned from three days in L.A. talking to studio execs with big smiles on their faces and signed with collective relief, as it looks like Chicago’s dire draught of film activity may be ending.

Local 476’s Mark Hogan, the Teamsters’ John Coley Sr. and John Coley Jr., and the IFO’s Betsy Steinberg brought back news of possible studio productions.

Fox Television has given a greenlight to the Shawn Ryan pilot, an hourlong cop drama, “Ridealong,” a potential Fox series that could be shot in its entirety here.

Rockford native Ryan scripted and will be executive producer. He is the creator and was the main writer of the multi-honored and long-running gritty TV series, “The Shield.”

“A production office will be set up in February and filming will start in March,” Hogan said about the pilot. “Ridealong” will center on three groups of police officers, ranging from uniformed beat cops to the female chief of police.

“There will be a few twists that make it different from other cop shows on the air and will make it Fox-like,” Ryan said.

Ryan plans to make the Chicago a major part of the show, calling it “the center of the universe, as the place where Barack Obama comes from and where Oprah dispels her wisdom.”

As reported exclusively in the Reel, Vince Vaughan and Ron Howard’s comedy, “Your Cheating Heart,” is planned for an April or May shoot in the city, Hogan reported.

And there’s a good chance “Transformers III” will shoot in Chicago also in May, although Hogan was short on details as to whether the third Paramount extravaganza would shoot in its entirety here or simply concentrate on exteriors. Either way, a major, big budget studio film will be welcome after a 19-month paucity of studio picture.

Michael Bay, of course, will director and Shia LeBouf and Megan Fox are reportedly reprising their roles.