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7 Chicago-based TV shows that need to be produced

Chicago CTA Train 2
Photograph: H. Michael Miley/Flickr

When the new television series Chicago Med debuts tonight on NBC, it will join two of the network's other series (Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D.) in forming a trio of Chicago-based civil service workplace dramas created by Dick Wolf. Although Chicago has long served as the setting for many TV shows, there have never been so many concurrently running series featuring our city as prominently as Wolf's current trilogy.

Wolf has given Chicago some great exposure and, given the success these shows are having, producers should be looking to create more TV dramas set in our workplaces. To help them out, here are seven pitches we think should be picked up by major television studios ASAP.

Chicago Transit: This intense action-drama focuses on the daily lives of the intrepid individuals who work for and utilize the city's vast network of public transportation. Tune in to see real passengers barely restrain from fighting on crowded trains, bus drivers with mean streaks who will mow down anyone in their paths, and puddles of puke on the Red Line that threaten the businessman and his $150 pair of Cole Haan shoes. Don't miss the show's season finale, in which a Blue Line conductor is so determined to get his passengers to their flights on time that he drives the train straight into O'Hare's concourse. 

Chicago DOT: This gripping drama about the city's Department of Transportation (DOT) zeroes in on Chicagoans' favorite season: construction. You won't want to miss out on the excitement of watching one worker fill a pothole while three of his lazy coworkers stand around complaining about how much work they have to do. This series will feature different sites and follow the story lines of each crew as they attempt the Sisyphean task of finishing all of the required construction around the city. This series will likely run for an eternity.

Chicago Pigeons: What exactly are those wacky downtown birds up to all day? Tune in to this zany comedy to find out. Whether they're eating garbage from the street or scurrying away from the pissed off pedestrians who kick at them, you've got to see these shenanigans—especially when they get back at pedestrians by pooping on their heads. Hilarious! Follow along with the mischief and antics of these indigenous birds of the Loop in what will undoubtedly be the "funniest sitcom you feather seen."

Chicago Bro: This reality show is about everyone's favorite type of Chicago resident: the North Side bro. Each episode takes you through a day in the life of one of these fascinating creatures, as they half-ass their way through the work day while hungover, bravely make it out to another happy hour, gamble their paychecks away on obscure college sports games and get kicked out of another rec sports league for playing with too much intensity. In Season 1, we will observe the bro's unusual mating ritual of showing up to Tinder dates highly intoxicated and wondering why his advances aren't met with a smile. The show will probably get canceled after one episode for FCC violations, but that's exactly the type of cutting-edge programming we need to see more of on TV.

Chicago Finance: Tune in to this fictional show to see what would happen if Chicago was in a total financial rut and, instead of getting out, kept misappropriating funds and creating taxes and measures that only hurt its already struggling citizens. That kind of staggering ineptitude and brazen corruption doesn't even happen on TV shows, right? This show probably wouldn't even get the green light because that kind of stuff simply can't happen in real life.

Chicago Fests: This documentary series about the plethora of festivals across Chicago is filmed and narrated from the viewpoint of your average attendee. Each episode provides a unique perspective, depending on who's behind the camera at which festival. One week you may learn something new from an art enthusiast going to one of the street fests that sells great work from local artists. Or you might take on the perspective of some young suburbanite who has to get his stomach pumped for alcohol poisoning after drinking two beers at Lollapalooza. It's a truly eclectic grab bag of points of view, just like the city we live in.

Chicago Superfans: Wouldn't it be great if we made a full-fledged series out of this famous SNL skit? Instead of hiring actors, just use real Chicagoans. Simply go to the tailgate lot or upper deck of Soldier Field during the next Bears home game and start filming the first sausage-eating, mustachioed guy you see. You'll be truly amazed at how much life imitates art as he crams 10 hot dogs down his gullet, screams homophobic slurs at Jay Cutler from his seat and embarrasses his wife next to him. Whether this is a comedy or a tragedy is up to the viewer.

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