NORTH LAWNDALE — With four Dick Wolf-produced television shows now shooting in Chicago, are TV viewers ready for more "Chicago Fire" spinoffs?
Promoting the franchise's new fourth show "Chicago Justice," breakout "Chicago Fire" star Taylor Kinney said that more Chicago-based dramas could be in the works.
"There will be 10 shows in five more years," Kinney said, referencing the success of the NBC franchise's four shows, which also include "Chicago PD and "Chicago Med."
At Cinespace Film Studios Wednesday, Wolf, who is know for the wildly popular "Law & Order" franchise, predicts that the "Chicago" franchise could have also have a legendary run. Logging 20 seasons, "Law and Order" was the longest-running crime drama on American network television and the 18th season of "Law & Order: SVU" is set to air this fall. "Chicago Fire" is now filming its fifth season.
"I hope it will continue to be possible for the next 10 or 15 years, which is not an outrageous dream when you have the level and quality of acting and writing that we have on these shows," Wolf said.
Recalling a trip to Chicago before "Chicago Fire" started, Wolf remembered pitching Wolf Films President Peter Jankowski on the city's charm from a bridge over the Chicago River.
"I said, 'Not only is this going to work, we're going to have a bunch more right here,'" Wolf said. Despite his prediction, "when this started I never had any idea we could get up to four."
"It is sort of a miracle that this has happened," Wolf said.
What does the super producer think of his leading lady city compared to his native New York?
Chicago "is a cleaner, politer New York with slightly heavier people," Wolf said to laughs.
Kinney was more diplomatic.
"It's America's city. It's a great place to tell stories. We've always said it's a character in itself," Kinney said.
What's next for Wolf's "Chicago" franchise? It likely won't be a political drama.
"No, you don't do political shows because you automatically lose half the audience," he said with a laugh.
"I always have idea for shows. 'Justice' has to work and then we'll see."
In total, nine different TV shows were filming in Chicago last week — a record number, according to officials with the Chicago Film Office. It's just the beginning, said Cinespace President Alex Pissios.
"People love this city. It's a world-class city and I think this is just the beginning," he said.
The filming boom has translated into more than $1.3 billion in economic activity from film and commercial production since 2011, adding local jobs and boosting Chicago's neighborhoods, said Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who made a cameo appearance on "Chicago Fire" in 2012.
The fourth season of "Chicago P.D." debuts Sept. 21 on NBC. The fifth season of "Chicago Fire" premieres Oct. 11.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and executive producer Dick Wolf pose with "Chicago Fire" and "Chicago Med" stars at Cinespace Film Studios Wednesday. [DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay]
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