“Chicago Fire” a $1 bb economic engine for the city


NBC’s “Chicago Fire” about the firefighters and paramedics at the firehouse of Engine 51, marked the airing of its 100th episode last week and with it, a high economic milestone for the Chicago film industry.

The show currently ranks as NBC’s second highest-rated series behind Tuesday night’s ensemble drama, “This is Us.”

Ratings have gone up from year-to-year. The Dec. 6 episode captured 7.774 million viewers, which certainly has to have a positive effect on tourism. And the odds are definitely in favor of a sixth season for the show.

Taylor Kinney, who plays Lt. Kelly Severide, and helped promote the episodic milestone said in an interview, “I am especially proud of how ‘Chicago Fire’ led the way for more TV and film production in the Windy City. “I couldn’t begin to count how many people locally it employs.”

Fortunately, ReelChicago can provide that information, via NBC and the Chicago Film Office. According to NBC, by the end of this season, Dick Wolf’s four Chicago series (beginning with the pilot of “Chicago Fire”) will have generated more than 5,000 local jobs, $500 million in total wages paid to local workers, and more than $1 billion in total economic impact.

Each season, the four shows combined (“Chicago Fire,” “ PD,” “ Med” and “Justice”) spend more than $150 million on wages to more than 1,300 local cast and crew, as well as more than 3,000 extras.

New “Chicago Fire” episodes will start airing Jan. 3. Filming for “Fire’s” season five began on Cinespace stages last July and aired in September.

The fourth addition to the franchise, “Chicago Justice,” will premiere on March 5, 2017. It stars Philip Winchester, Carl Weathers, Jon Seda, who moved over from “Chicago PD,” and a generous display of Chicago actors.

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