Every Thursday we feature a classic movie, trailers, TV show pilot or amazing clips from movies from back in the day. You can always watch them on demand at work, on the way to work, on the way home from work or on your day off to watch and share.
Today’s feature takes you back to 1982 for a short lived but important part of Chicago’s renaissance in the making of movies and TV in Chicago.
The city had a policy that wasn’t very inviting to Hollywood. In fact, in 1975, John Wayne starred as a Chicago police officer in Brannigan which had a few scenes filmed here but it wasn’t easy to get the licenses needed and permits to do it. Many shows were set here including The Bob Newhart Show, Good Times, Night Stalker and others back in the day but none were actually filmed here.
The Blues Brothers changed all that after old man Daley passed away, this city began to go out and solicit the business of film to finally come here and we’ve been off to the races ever since.
The show aired for 13 episodes on NBC from March 6 to June 11, 1982, following a 2-hour television film pilot that was broadcast earlier on March 15, 1981.
The series followed the work and lives of several Chicago lawyers, police officers, and doctors. The series was similar to Hill Street Blues in that it was less about action scenes and more about the stresses of working in law enforcement and medicine. The show did not catch on with viewers and lasted only thirteen episodes.
The cast included Maud Adams and Kristoffer Tabori as Dr. Judith Bergstrom and Dr. Max Carson, doctors at Cook County Hospital; Craig T. Nelson, Vincent Baggetta and Molly Cheek as attorneys Kenneth A. Dutton, Lou Pellegrino and Megan Powers. Dutton was a prosecutor and Pellegrino was a defense attorney; Powers was a lawyer both men were interested in; and Dennis Franz, Richard Lawson and Daniel Hugh Kelly appeared as police officers Joe Gilland, O.Z. Tate and Frank Wajorski, respectively. Gilland was a beat cop, while Tate and Wajorski were detectives. Other notables who’d go on to fame in the 80’s included guest starring roles for John Mahoney and Ally Sheedy who’d return to Chicago to film Bad Boys in 1982 with Lil Ol’ me.
Intermixed within, especially during the opening title sequence, was plenty of Chicago scenery, including the John Hancock Center; Merchandise Mart; Michigan Avenue; Wrigley Building; Willis Tower (then known as Sears Tower); Aon Center; (then known as the Standard Oil Building), the Chicago Theater and its famous marquee; Lake Shore Drive; the then-headquarters of the Chicago Sun-Times; the Chicago Water Tower; Marina City; the Chicago ‘L’ and various other sights. One of the settings was the then-Cook County Hospital.
Chicago Story was notable for attempting to air an hour and a half per episode. The show was pared down to an hour per episode late in its run, including broadcasting edited versions of episodes that had already aired.
Episodes were rebroadcast on TNT Network in 1994. The series aired in the United Kingdom on BBC1 in 1982.
For the theme song, producers reached out to Chicago talent including Linda Clifford as lead vocalist and my mother with others for background vocals.
Source: Sal Amato, WikiPedia, IMDB