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2023
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‘Deli Boys’ to Begin Filming Season One in Chicago This January

One of (hopefully) many new productions for Chicago and Illinois in the new year is taking shape. The comedy pilot Deli Boys was picked up to series back in May, and with the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes in the rearview, this new series is ready to roll cameras. Production offices will open in Chicago on December 23rd, and filming is expected to begin in January.

Ten half-hour episodes are expected for the first season. Starring Asif Ali, Saagar Shaikh (pictured top left), Alfie Fuller, Poorna Jagannathan and new series regular Brian George, the series from 20th Television will stream exclusively on Hulu in the U.S.

The Path to Production

The pilot for Deli Boys was shot in Chicago in Fall of 2022, from October 26th through November 5th. Click here for more of SCREEN’s coverage of the Deli Boys pilot production.

After the pilot was picked up to series in May, the target date for filming was announced as this Summer. Of course, the SAG-AFTRA and WGA Strikes sidelined that start. Meanwhile, sources were telling SCREEN that there was uncertainty as to whether or not the series would film in Chicago. Fortunately, those doubts have been eased with the announcement of production offices opening in Chicago next month.

Get to Know the Story and Stars of Deli Boys

In Deli Boys, when their convenience store-magnate father suddenly dies, a pair of pampered Pakistani American brothers (played by the aforementioned Asif Ali and Saagar Shaikh) lose everything and are forced to reckon with their Baba’s secret life of crime as they attempt to take up his mantle in the underworld.

Actor and comedian Asif Ali (Don’t Worry Darling, Wandavision) plays Mir Dar, a hardworking son whose eager to impress his father, Baba — a scrappy immigrant who arrived in the U.S. broke and built an empire from scratch. Ms. Marvel actor Saagar Shaikh plays Mir’s brother Raj, who’s a pot-smoking and entitled playboy who lives the high life on his father’s millions.

Best known for her work in the critically acclaimed The Marvelous Ms. Maisel, Alfie Fuller plays Prairie, Raj’s shaman, an “Afro-futurist” hipster who lives with him and various other hangers-on in stoner heaven luxury.

Asif Ali, Alfie Fuller, Saagar Shaikh lead the cast of Deli Boys. Photo Credits: Deli Cruz/Justine Castle

Acclaimed Director Ganatra Helmed the Pilot

The half-hour, 10-episode series was created by Abdullah Saeed and developed by Jenni Konner and Nora Silver under Jenni Konner Productions. Michelle Nader, who also serves as showrunner, is an executive producer alongside Saeed, Konner, Silver, and Vali Chandrasekaran.

Nisha Ganatra was executive producer and director on the pilot, and her level of involvement in the full series is expected to be announced soon. Ganatra was awarded the Cannes Lions Grand Prix for film craft. She directed the Sundance hit film Late Night starring Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling and most recently, Welcome to Chippendales for Hulu.

Here is a look at the trailer for Late Night

Many more updates ahead for Deli Boys as the series forges ahead into production in the new year, and we expect to have them for you here in the coming weeks.

Be sure to check back here at SCREEN Magazine for the latest in Chicago and Illinois television production. You can also click right here to subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.

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