Comedy Central Expands Film Production Footprint in Illinois

CHICAGO – The Illinois FILM Office is pleased to welcome a new Comedy Central series to the growing list of productions that call Illinois home. South Side, a scripted workplace comedy set in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, has been ordered to series by the network. The show, whose pilot was filmed in Illinois, is written by south side natives, brothers Bashir Salahuddin and Sultan Salahuddin, along with Diallo Riddle.

“The expansion of Comedy Central’s footprint in Illinois is a natural fit with the legendary comedic talent pool represented in Chicago,” said Illinois FILM Office Director Christine Dudley. “We look forward to working with them on this new production which will highlight the diversity of our state and tap into our exceptional talent pool that rivals the rest of the country.”

Illinois recently welcomed Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah for a week of filming. Last Thursday, the weeknight news parody wrapped filming at the Athenaeum Theater in Chicago. The four- night, sold out roadshow was dubbed ‘Undesked Chicago 2017: Let’s Do This Before It Gets Too Damn Cold.’

“The dynamic culture, robust (Illinois Film) program, and deep pool of talented entertainment professionals makes Chicago an ideal production hub for Comedy Central,” said Comedy Central’s Senior Vice President of Production, Megan Ring. “The Daily Show remote production was a success on many levels and we’re so pleased everything has aligned to enable us to produce our new series, South Side, in Chicago, which will greatly add to the authentic look and feel of the Salahuddin brothers’ vision for the series.”

The film industry in Illinois continues to grow. A wealth of cast and crew members, diverse shooting locations and a competitive incentive program attract productions to our state. In 2016, Illinois’ film industry generated $499 million in estimated Illinois spending, a 51 percent increase over the previous year. The Illinois FILM Office worked with 345 television, commercial and film projects that generated 13,377 non-extra job hires over the course of the year.

The Office promotes Illinois as a production center for film, television, digital and commercial advertising, providing initial location services, and a guide of Illinois crew members and service providers. The Office also administers the state’s Production Tax Incentive program, which has been integral in growing a competitive film industry in Illinois. The 30 percent tax credit is awarded to productions for qualified expenditures on Illinois goods and services, including wages paid to Illinois residents. The goal of the Production Tax Incentive is to grow, sustain and provide economic and job opportunities for local vendors, cast, crew and filmmakers.