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NBC Pilot Gets Series Pickup, Led by BATMAN’s Reeves, Chicago Fire Alum

Last updated: April 2, 2021

NBC’s latest pilot pickup brings more potentially great news to Chicago’s booming television production scene. NBC has given a series order to ORDINARY JOE, whose pilot filmed in town this past November. While the series is expected to film in Chicago, NBC has not yet officially confirmed. Should the series land in Chicago, it will mark two exciting returns to the city. THE BATMAN director Matt Reeves, who was downtown this past fall filming his Robert Pattinson superhero blockbuster, is Executive Producer of ORDINARY JOE. The series also would bring a former CHICAGO FIRE fan favorite back to the Windy City once again.

ORDINARY JOE, described as Reeves’ “passion project,” explores the three parallel lives of the show’s main character after he makes a pivotal choice at a crossroads in his life. Per NBC, “The series asks the question of how different life might look if you made your decision based on love, loyalty or passion.”

Russel Friend and Garrett Lerner (best known for their work as Executive Producers on the Emmy-winning series HOUSE) are writers and executive producers, along with Reeves. James Wolk (WATCHMEN, ZOO) stars as Joe Kimbreau and will navigate the trio of parallel lives for this title character.

CHICAGO FIRE Fans Rejoice!

This series also would mark a triumphant return to Chicago for a fan favorite. Charlie Barnett was one of the original cast members of ratings king CHICAGO FIRE, as paramedic Peter Mills, before leaving the show in 2015 after three seasons. Barnett now joins CSI:NY alum Natalie Martinez in ORDINARY JOE. Martinez will star as Amy, described as a bright and caring woman who forms an immediate connection with the central charcter Joe. Barnett will play Eric Payne, one of Joe’s closest friends. ORDINARY JOE marks a reunion of sorts for Martinez and Barnett, who both starred in the ABC series SECRETS AND LIES.

For the CHICAGO FIRE fans reading this breaking news, here’s a nostalgic excerpt from Charlie’s final episode of FIRE:

“I still remember when Matt Reeves shared this passion project back when I worked at Twentieth,” NBC president of scripted content, entertainment and streaming Lisa Katz said in a statement. “Russel and Garrett wrote such a compelling and emotional script that was expertly executed from page to screen. We love how ORDINARY JOE lets us experience the universal question of ‘what if’ through an incredible cast of characters and engaging storylines.”

NBC also released first-look photos that show Wolk’s character Joe in his three parallel identities… one, a a police officer saluting while receiving an award; one, a rock singer performing on stage; and one, a smiling nurse clad in a hoodie and scrubs…

ORDINARY JOE – (Photo by: Sandy Morris/Parrish Lewis/NBC)

Shooting schedule, local production team, premiere dates, and more are expected to be announced in the weeks ahead. Check back here at SCREEN for updates as this new series heads into production. In the meantime, leave your first impressions of ORDINARY JOE in the comments below!

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