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TV Pilot Season Brings 'Betrayal,' 'Doubt,' and 'Influence' to City 'Hoods

By Alisa Hauser | March 1, 2013 11:33am
 Actor Rockmond Dunbar, seen here with Maya Gilbert, reportedly will be part of the cast of "Doubt," an ABC-TV pilot, which will film in Chicago.
Actor Rockmond Dunbar, seen here with Maya Gilbert, reportedly will be part of the cast of "Doubt," an ABC-TV pilot, which will film in Chicago.
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Getty Images/Randi Ratcliff

CHICAGO —  "Betrayal," "Doubt" and "Influence" are marching into Chicago in March.

No, that's not a description of the latest local political corruption case — they're the names of three new television pilots being filmed here, a city official confirmed.

One location scout said homes in Bucktown and Ukranian Village have been eyed for one of the characters on "Doubt," described as a show about a former cop turned lawyer.

"Bucktown has interesting architecture," the scout said. "Both Bucktown and UK Village, those areas are great, look fantastic on film."

In February, letters were taped to doors of homes in the 2000 block of West Webster Street in Bucktown, just west of Damen Avenue.

"Your home or business is possibly being considered for an upcoming television pilot entitled 'DOUBT,' produced by Sony pictures for ABC," the letter said.

One landlord said that he called the number on the letter and "some people came out to take photos" of his building, built in the 1880s. 

Rich Moskal, director of the Chicago Film Office confirmed that the three shows are ABC-TV pilots and will be filmed in Chicago in March.

Most pilots tend to shoot for 13 days, according to Moskal, adding that there are dozens of pilots produced each season and many of them never make it on the air. 

"If any of the pilots get picked up for a full series, they'll come back for filming after the Fourth of July holiday, and then shoot for nine months out of the year, like 'Chicago Fire,' for instance," Moskal said.

Neighborhood residents affected by the filming will get "anywhere between two to four days" notice, Moskal said.

Around this same time last year, there was just one pilot being filmed in Chicago, the NBC drama "Chicago Fire," which was picked up for a full season and has spent nine months shooting in neighborhoods such as Bucktown, Lincoln Park and Logan Square. The production also shot downtown, where the show rerouted traffic on Wacker Drive in October.

Two films also are scheduled to shoot in Chicago in the summer months: "Divergent," based on young adult novel, and portions of a Warner Brothers sci-fi feature "Jupiter Ascending."

The spring pilot schedule is as follows:
  • "Betrayal" is set to begin filming March 7.

Written by David Zabel, an executive director of "ER," the show is about "a beautiful but unhappily married female photographer who begins a torrid affair with a lawyer for a powerful family," according to The Wrap.

When the lawyer turns out to be defending a murder suspect who is being prosecuted by her husband "the case begin a spiraling series of betrayals with cataclysmic results for everyone involved."

  • "Doubt," to be produced by Sony Pictures for ABC, is scheduled to begin filming March 17.

According to The Wrap, Doubt is about "a former cop who's now a cunning, but charming low-rent lawyer who uses his street smarts to work the system for his clients while battling his own demons and wooing his ex-wife."

Actor Rockmond Dunbar is reportedly part of the cast.

  • "Influence, a drama, is set to begin filming March 19.

According to Reel Chicago, "Influence" is about "two brothers who own a unique agency designed to attack their clients’ problems using the real science of human motivation and manipulation."