CHICAGO — Chicago Med, Dick Wolf's third in a series of locally-made shows, debuted Tuesday night on NBC with a couple surprises: a dramatic L crash and a guest appearance by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The mayor, playing himself, cut a ribbon opening a wing of the show's hospital.
The crash set in motion a number of scenes to introduce the various characters (one doctor declares he grew up on Lake Shore Drive and another says he's a product of Canaryville.)
Most of the scenes were filmed in Cinespace, 2621 W. 15th Pl.
For the L jumping-the-track scene, producers bought a decommissioned 1980s 'L" train car from the CTA for $4,800. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the show's creators "beat up the train car and laid it on its side near a center-city viaduct by the Chicago River to simulate a derailment."
"There's just no way we'd get that in another city," Matt Olmstead, an executive producer told the Journal of the city's cooperation.
As for the Emanuel appearance, it was a re-run of sorts: he's also made cameos in Chicago Fire and Chicago PD.
Meanwhile, Chicago Med opened with what Variety called "promising" ratings with about 8.6 million viewers.
Reviews were mixed. The Los Angeles Times' critic said it needs "a shot of drama, stat" and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called it "meh." The A.V. Club called the show "a solid, mostly pleasant-yet-unremarkable hospital drama that hits most of the right beats." Rogerebert.com described Chicago Med as "comfort food TV."
Said the Hollywood Reporter: "If there’s not a Chicago Liquor Store and Chicago Bikram Yoga next season, it will be a pretty big letdown."
One of the stars, Colin Donnell, was among the viewers:
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