CHICAGO—The Illinois Film Office said today that NBC’s decision to renew the TV programs Chicago Fire and Chicago PD for another season will provide an important boost to the state’s economy. Both of the hit shows are filmed in Chicago.
In 2013, local spending for Chicago Fire and Chicago PD totaled $87 million, about a quarter of the film industry’s overall spending of a record $358 million statewide, according to estimates by the film office, which is part of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
“These two shows have become job creators all by themselves,” said Betsy Steinberg, managing director of the film office. “Now that they can produce another season of episodes, they will provide steady work for hundreds of people, from actors to electricians, drivers, construction workers and many more.”
Under Governor Pat Quinn, the state aggressively has courted film, television and commercial productions. Governor Quinn committed early state support to the Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, leveraging a more than $80 million private investment in what has become the largest soundstage in the United States outside of Hollywood.
The campus on Chicago’s near west side opened in 2011, vastly expanding the state’s ability to host major film and TV productions. That same year, Governor Quinn signed a 10-year extension of the Illinois Film Tax Credit, which has drawn hundreds of projects to the state.
The film industry’s record level of activity in Illinois last year supported the equivalent of more than 4,200 full-time jobs. The business in 2013 included six television series; movies such as Divergent, Jupiter Ascending and Transformers 4; and about 150 commercial productions.
“Illinois has established ties to producers who keep coming back once they are exposed to our world-class facilities, diverse locations and nationally respected labor force,” Steinberg said.
The state’s 30 percent tax credit is awarded to filmmakers for money spent on Illinois goods and services, including wages paid to Illinois residents. Since its inception in 2004, the credit has helped produce $1.3 billion in private-sector spending within the state.
Chicago Fire and Chicago PD are shot at Cinespace. With the renewals, Chicago Fire will enter its third season and Chicago PD its second.