TV pilot frenzy is underway in L.A., with networks and cable stations having greenlit more than 75 pilots for the 2013-14 television season.
While two of those 75-plus pilots have landed in Chicago thus far, Local 476’s Mark Hogan is confident about several others filming here – mainly two pilots for ABC and Dick Wolf’s NBC comedy, “Girlfriend in a Coma,” that, if picked up for a series, could efficiently piggyback on “Chicago Fire’s” established facility and resources here.
The two Chicago-set pilots for ABC that are ready to roll come from two extremely successful TV producers. They are “Betrayal,” from David Zabel, producer of “ER” which shot here quarterly for years, and “Doubt,” from David Shore, the creator of “House.”
“Betrayal’s” production crew, headed by Tim Iacafano (“24”) has settled into Cinespace this week, where the pilot will shoot for approximately three weeks (start date unknown at this time) with the wrap deadline of Good Friday, March 29. Director is Patty Jenkins (“Monster”).
The story is about an unhappily married female photographer who begins a torrid affair with a lawyer for a powerful family. When he turns out to be defending a murder suspect being prosecuted by her husband, the relationship and the case begin a spiraling series of betrayals with cataclysmic results for everyone involved.
The Sony-produced “Doubt” is headquartering at Chicago Studio City, where it also has a three week shooting schedule. Plot centers on a cunning but charming low-rent lawyer, a former cop, who uses his street smarts to work the system for his clients while battling his own demons and wooing his ex-wife.
Universal Television and Wolf Films’ comedy pilot, “Girlfriend in a Coma,” based on a book by Douglas Coupland, was scripted by “Nurse Jackie’s” Liz Brixius, who co-produces with Danielle Gelber, Peter Jankowski and Wolf.
It revolves around a 34-year-old woman who wakes up from a coma after almost two decades to find out she has a 17-year-old daughter from a pregnancy she was unaware of when her life was put on hold.
If “Girlfriend” goes to series, along with “Chicago Fire” and “Law & Order: SVU,” Wolf would have three shows airing simultaneously. And all on NBC.