Ordinary Joe, starring Chicago Fire’s Charlie Barnett, filming this fall

Charlie Barnett’s NBC pilot Ordinary Joe will film later this year.

NBC is going ahead with Ordinary Joe, the drama pilot that co-stars former Chicago Fire regular Charlie Barnett.

Though the project didn’t make it onto NBC’s fall schedule, multiple media reports say that the network is still filming a pilot sometime in the next few months—after which, presumably, they’ll decide whether or not they want the series.

Ordinary Joe stars James Wolk (a TV stalwart whose many credits include Watchmen, Zoo, and Mad Men) as Joe Kimbrough, whose life breaks up into three different realities due to choices that he makes.

Charlie Barnett will be playing Joe’s close friend, Eric Payne. There still haven’t been any details released about who Eric is or what he does, but it’s likely that we could also see different versions of him if those alternate realities impact Eric somehow.

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The show is created by Russel Friend and Garrett Lerner, who previously wrote for House, which of course starred Barnett’s Chicago Fire colleague Jesse Spencer.

For One Chicago fans, shooting the Ordinary Joe pilot is good news. It obviously means that the show is still alive at NBC, and the fact that they want to film now as opposed to delaying it for a while (like they just did with Jon Seda’s show) is encouraging.

That head start means that it has a chance of getting to viewers faster. If the pilot is in the can before the end of 2020, and NBC wants to proceed with a full first season, it could target summer 2021 for a launch instead of waiting for the fall season to come around again.

They’d certainly be wise to hold onto Charlie Barnett, whose career has exploded since he was written out of Fire years ago. He’s had roles in three major Netflix productions (the second season of You, the new Tales of the City, and the critically acclaimed Russian Doll) and just wrapped up a leading role in the final season of Arrow.

Plus, having him on another NBC show might make it easier, scheduling-wise, for Peter Mills to finally pay a return visit to Firehouse 51. Barnett said in October that he’d be willing to reappear in a guest spot.

Next: When is Chicago Fire season 8 coming to DVD?

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