The new CNN series Chicagoland follows Windy City Mayor Rahm Emanuel as he tries to improve life for the city’s residents in the wake of an escalating murder rate and union squabbles.
The mayor’s entertainment connection made cementing the deal for the series harder than usual.
Emanuel’s brother, The William Morris Endeavor co-CEO Ari Emanuel, is a longtime Hollywood power player. Chicagoland directors Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin are agency clients, and they requested the group not represent them during negotiations for the series’ deal. They wanted to avoid a potential conflict of interest.
We didn’t want to be questioned about anything,” says [‘Chicagoland’ co-director Marc] Levin, who is in Park City for the Sundance premiere of episode one of Chicagoland on Sunday.
The eight-part series, co-produced by progressive actor Robert Redford, begins airing March 6.