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Inspired By Wrigley Beer Vendors, New TV Show Wraps Filming In Chicago

By Kayla Martinez | June 20, 2017 5:38am
 Actor Joel Murray on set to film the
Actor Joel Murray on set to film the "Vendors" pilot.
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Natalie Wexler

LAKEVIEW — A TV pilot was in the works at a Lakeview home last weekend, with actor Joel Murray sitting on set. 

The show, "Vendors," is about a "lovable loser" who is forced to go back to his college job as a baseball park vendor after several poor life choices. The show was written by Christopher Biewer, a Chicago-born actor who was living in Los Angeles and felt homesick. 

Biewer began writing the script based on his experiences at Wrigley Field, growing up and going to Cubs games. In the process, Biewer took some inspiration from the TV show "Scrubs" and how that comedy series about medical residents at a hospital showed characters outside of a work setting.

 On set for
On set for "Vendors" at a house in Lakeview.
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Natalie Wexler

"You can meet some really unique characters [at a hospital], but also the people who work at the baseball stadium can sometimes be really unique creatures," Biewer said. "And then you can follow a couple of the vendors outside of the baseball universe and see what they do." 

The show is directed by Joel Murray, an actor in several television series, such as "Mad Men" and "Shameless" and brother of actors Bill, John and Brian Doyle-Murray.

"I think it's great. There's not enough shot in this town. It's such a beautiful backdrop for so many things. It's nice to be doing something with some people from here," Murray said. 

The show's title comes from a day when Biewer sat at Cubs game and simply watched the vendors. 

"I'm a writer and so I'm like 'You know, that world has never been explored on television before,' " Biewer said.

The vendors are "fascinating," Murray said. 

The pilot episode took on a five-day filming period from Thursday to Monday, filming at a home in Lakeview at Dovetail Brewery, 1800 W. Belle Plaine Ave., and at the Kane County Cougars ballpark in Geneva.

"Home life. Bar. Park," Murray said. 

Dee Cooper, one of the producers for "Vendors," said it's a good time to pitch a show like this.

"Theres a phenomenal amount of support in this area and around the world. We saw that with the Cubs winning the World Series," Cooper said. "We want to represent all that we're capable of here in Chicago."

For Biewer, passing money down a row of fans to a vendor is "the most fascinating thing in the world."

"When else or where else would you hand a stranger your money and assume they're going to pay for your beer but at a baseball game?" Biewer said.

Filming ended Monday and will later be pitched to the "free world."

"Everybody but North Korea, we would like to pitch it to," Murray said.