Gillian Anderson, Dermot Mulroney, Christian Slater doing TV shows in Chicago
By Bill Zwecker May 12, 2013 9:06PM
On “Crisis,” Dermot Mulroney plays a chaperone taken hostage along with a busful of children on a field trip. | VIVIAN ZINK~NBC
Updated: June 14, 2013 6:03AM
There are lots of happy people in the Chicago filmmaking community today, thanks to the announcements about a number of TV pilots getting the “green light” for a full season of production in Our Town, beginning this summer.
The news also means star-watching will become a bit more fun as several famous faces will be around town shooting their new drama series.
† Even though the pilot for “Crisis” was shot in Los Angeles, the NBC series will be made here. It stars Gillian Anderson and Dermot Mulroney — both with Chicago roots. Anderson was born in the city and returned to attend the Goodman School of Drama, now DePaul’s Theatre School. Mulroney is a 1985 graduate of Northwestern.
“Crisis,” debuting in the middle of the 2013-14 season, is about a field trip gone very wrong for a very exclusive Washington, D.C., school attended by the children of America’s elite, including big corporate CEOs, international diplomats and even the president’s son. On a rural road, the kids’ bus is ambushed and they and their chaperones are taken hostage — instigating a huge international incident.
† As expected, NBC gave the thumbs-up to “Chicago P.D.,” the spinoff series from “Chicago Fire” focusing on our police department. Like “Fire,” this new show is the brainchild of “Law & Order” creator Dick Wolf. It’s also scheduled for midseason.
† ABC has given the go-ahead to “Mind Games” (formerly titled “Influence”), an intriguing new show from “Awake’s” Kyle Killen. It stars Christian Slater and Steve Zahn as brothers who start a consulting firm that fixes clients’ problems through the science of manipulation and motivation.
† Another ABC series going into production here is “Betrayal,” which sounds like it has a lot of nighttime soap opera potential. A female photographer has an affair with a high-profile attorney, but then things get complicated when the photographer’s husband prosecutes a murder trial involving that lawyer who’s romancing his wife. The key cast members in this web of intrigue are Hannah Ware, Stuart Townsend, Chris Johnson and James Cromwell.
Illinois Film Office director Betsy Steinberg credited Gov. Pat Quinn’s support for the film tax credit and Douglas Park’s Cinespace Film Studios with encouraging the influx of production.
MORE TV TALK: While Rebel Wilson’s “Super Fun Night” for ABC won’t be made in Chicago, it does have a local hook: Second City’s Lauren Ash is a major member of the cast. The show is about three uncool pals who go on what they call a “funcomfortable” weekly jaunt each Friday. Along with Wilson herself, Conan O’Brien has signed on as an executive producer.
† Also being made in California will be a new sitcom created by west suburban native Sean Hayes. In his return to series TV, the openly gay actor plays the gay, divorced dad of a teenage daughter who suddenly decides to move in with him full-time. “Sean Saves the World” will be part of a family-themed Thursday NBC lineup along with “Parks & Recreation” and a new Michael J. Fox comedy.
† Given its slipping ratings, it’s no big surprise that CBS finally canceled “CSI: New York,” starring Steppenwolf co-founder Gary Sinise. Now only the original “CSI” remains — itself just renewed for an amazing 14th season.
† On a happier note, Ken Jeong was “over-the-moon thrilled” about “Community” being picked up for another season. In our chat Saturday in Las Vegas about his upcoming “Hangover 3” flick, Jeong said he had been on “pins and needles” all week, waiting for the call that his quirky NBC sitcom would be coming back.
RUMOR CONTROL: Do not believe the story about Lindsay Lohan quitting the Betty Ford Center because staffers cut off the Adderall pills she takes to control her ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). While LiLo is said to be less than happy at Betty Ford, a clinic insider told this column over the weekend, “Lindsay is staying here. She really has no choice to leave at this point.”
† Also, both Tom Cruise and ex-wife Katie Holmes had a good laugh over the report daughter Suri — who just turned 7! — was about to launch her own clothing line. “Suri loves clothes, that’s for sure. But this story is pure fiction,” said a close Holmes associate Saturday. “Check back with us in about 15 years, and we’ll see what Suri’s career choices will be looking like.”
SEEN ON THE SCENE: The Miami Heat’s Chris “Birdman” Andersen was seen dining Friday at Tavern on Rush — the night before the team’s head coach Erik Spoelstra and prez Pat Riley were spied at the popular Rush street bar and restaurant. … Board Room sightings have included Lance Briggs and Julius Peppers, with a bunch of Miami Dolphin pals, plus Carlos Boozer, reportedly “partying like he wasn’t getting smacked by the Heat!” ... Speaking of the Heat, Siena Tavern was where Dwyane Wade and girlfriend Gabrielle Union cozied up, and (separately) the Heat’s Chris Bosh and the Bulls’ Nazr Mohammed were spied.