Mayor Rahm Emanuel is slated to make a different sort of silver-screen appearance when he plays himself in a television pilot that NBC may pickup as part of the network's fall lineup.
NBC Chicago reported Thursday that the mayor will be featured in an episode of the "Chicago Fire" television drama, a show produced by "Law and Order" franchise creator Dick Wolf.
"It's easier being mayor than playing mayor," Emanuel admitted to NBC. "I told them I’d do it under one condition: the TV show is making an investment to the firefighter's widow and orphans fund."
(Scroll down to watch a report on the "Chicago Fire" pilot.)
The show pilot, focused on the lives of members of the Chicago Fire Department, features Jesse Spencer of "House" fame, Monica Raymond and Taylor Kinney, Lady Gaga's beau, of "Vampire Diaries" fame.
Chicago Film Office Director Rich Moskol described the pilot filming in the city as presenting "a tremendous opportunity for us" given Wolf's track record in the television industry.
"Unlike [the blockbuster movie] 'Transformers 3,' a TV series has a opportunity to shoot year-around for many years," Moskol said, as reported by the Roscoe View Journal. In addition to the pilot being spotted filming on the Columbus Drive bridge on the Near North Side and at a River North condo building in recent days, film crews have also been shooting near Hamlin Park and elsewhere on the city's North Side.
The Columbus Drive crash scene was a surprise to some passersby who may have initially thought the crash was real, NBC Chicago previously reported.
If the pilot gets the go-ahead from NBC executives, filming is expected to reconvene in Chicago in July. Meanwhile, the Starz network's "Boss" series, starring Kelsey Grammer as the Chicago mayor and featuring rapper T.I. as a new cast member, also recently began filming its second season in the area, according to Reel Chicago.
WATCH a report on the "Chicago Fire" NBC television pilot: