‘Chicago Fire’ family toasts start of a new season

Veteran TV producer Dick Wolf had plenty of reason to smile during an event Monday in Chicago. | NBC~Elizabeth Morris

The Wolf Pack is back roaming the streets of Chicago and this summer, it’s bigger than ever.

TV producer Dick Wolf hosted a party Monday at The Palm to celebrate the official start of filming on his rapidly expanding portfolio of Chicago-based NBC dramas: “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.” and the newest addition to the family, “Chicago Med.”

July is typically when the series begin filming their upcoming fall seasons. The Peacock net originally planned to give “Med” a later start in early 2016, but NBC bumped up “Med’s” launch to Nov. 17 when Melissa George, the star of another new NBC medical drama, “Heartbreaker,” became pregnant. That series will now bow sometime midseason.

“Med” will fill the 8 p.m. (Central) Tuesday time slot, providing a Chicago-centric lead in to “Fire” when it returns for a fourth season at 9 p.m. (Central) Tuesday, Oct. 13. It’s wheels up on the third season of “P.D.” at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30.

The cast and crew of “Fire” and “P.D.” already have been spotted around town. Production on “Med” is slated to begin in early September. (A great way to keep tabs on where the cameras will be rolling is the Twitter account Filming in Chicago. ICYMI, here’s my story on the mystery man behind it.)

The Palm's foyer. | Lori Rackl

The Palm’s foyer. | Lori Rackl

New York-based Wolf likes hosting shindigs at The Palm, a steakhouse at Swissotel Chicago, 323 E. Upper Wacker Dr. (It allegedly serves one of the best burgers in the city; I’ve yet to partake myself.) The restaurant’s foyer proudly displays caricatures of the “Fire” cast as well as the visage of the show’s top dog, Mr. Wolf.

Wolf was all smiles when he posed for a photo by set photographer Elizabeth Morris. The TV titan is flanked by (left to right) Marina Squerciati (“P.D.”), Sophia Bush (“P.D.”), Monica Raymund (“Fire”), Amy Morton (“P.D.”), Dora Madison (“Fire”) and Kara Killmer (“Fire”). No one seemed to be paying much attention to poor Jesse Spencer (“Fire”), who can be seen photobombing in the background.

The cast of “Chicago Med” and possibly some other members of the Wolf franchise will take a break from the Windy City to be at the TV critics’ summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California, in mid-August. I’ll be there, too, so shoot me your questions for the cast and showrunners on Twitter (@lorirackl) and I’ll do my best to get them answered in a future post on TVtrippin. I’ll also be live blogging the “Chicago Med” panel on Aug. 13.


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