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With a population of over 2.7 million people, Chicago is a city with just as many stories to tell. It might not be as common to see stories set in Chicago on television as New York City, but those that do are memorable. From family sitcoms to medical dramas, we love seeing Chicago on the small screen in these television shows.
Set in a fictional suburb of Chicago, Married… with Children was an iconic sitcom of the 1990s and helped propel Fox from fledging network to an equal player amongst the USA’s ‘Big Three’ television networks. The cast of the show is made of now industry legends like Ed O’Neill and Christina Applegate, portraying a truly dysfunctional family.
Although Sirens only ran for two seasons, this television show was a solid ensemble show about Chicago EMT paramedics on the job. Unlike most medical shows, Sirens was a sitcom that talked openly about sexuality, family issues, and mental disorders, without getting weighed down and forgetting to laugh.
This Netflix-produced television show takes place all over the world, from Chicago to Iceland and from Nairobi to Seoul, as it follows eight strangers who are mentally and emotionally linked. As they struggle to understand this connection, as well as through own diverse living situations, they end up helping each other along the way. The series’ second season is coming, and critics and audiences are both expecting continued greatness from this show created by the Wachowskis.
In theory, Family Matters was about the Winslow family, but the show’s breakout star wasn’t a member of the family. No, the most quotable and recognizable persona of the sitcom was the nerdy and annoying neighbor, Steve Urkel. Jaleel White, the actor who portrayed Urkel, soon joined the cast as a main character, with his nasally voice and suspenders, for the show’s nine-season run.
An ensemble show centered around six young people (three male, three female), Happy Endings is basically Chicago’s answer to the iconic sitcom Friends. This show is quirkier than its NYC counterpart and more diverse with characters that aren’t all white, straight people. The series only had three seasons before cancellation but is definitely worth checking out.
Enjoy watching characters in increasingly impossible situations figure their way out (or maybe failing to)? Then Prison Break is the show for you. Centered around, you guessed it, a prison break, the show’s characters are centered in Chicago and a prison in Illinois.
Robin Williams’ final television role before his death in 2014, The Crazy Ones shows off a star that remained the quirky, hilariously strange personality we all first fell in love with watching Mork & Mindy decades prior. Williams stars as an eccentric Chicago advertising executive alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar as his delightfully neurotic daughter.
The longest running television medical drama ER called Chicago home for its 15 seasons. It is the most Emmy-nominated drama program ever with 124 nominations. Due to the show’s long-running time, its main cast changed over the years but had notable actors like George Clooney once wearing its scrubs.
Female-led television dramas have become an industry standard in television right now. The Good Wife showcases Julianna Margulies as a long-term stay-at-home mum who returns to her high-flying legal career after her husband’s sex scandal goes public, but her character is so much more than that role. She involves herself in law and politics independently with dramatic storylines. The show has won multiple awards, including five Emmys, before ending this year.
Chicago is a town with a great love for sports, so it makes sense that this city is the setting for The League, a comedy show about a group of people that takes sports very seriously, fantasy football league members. The jokes are sometimes raunchy, and you don’t have to be a sports fan to be a fan of this show, although it might help.
Chicago Fire may only be on its fourth season but it has already produced two spin-offs with a third in the pipeline. It has brought many stories to Chicago, and film crews, as this show has claimed a large amount of primetime real estate for the city. Chicago Fire covers the professional and personal lives of a fire department as they disagree, fight fires, and create unique bonds.