Showtime Orders Lena Waithe’s Chicago Based Drama, “The Chi” To Series
Lena Waithe’s hometown visions are coming to life with Showtime picking up The Chi, staring Straight Outta Compton’s Jason Michell.
According to Shadow and Act, the hour-long drama was originally pitched as a coming of age story of a young black male growing up in the crime driven city. It was later picked up with Clark Johnson exciting and Dope’s Rick Famuyiwa entering as the director of the pilot. The show will now feature an intersected group of six with Mitchell playing Brandon, an eager Chicago native with dreams of opening an eatery. While his dreams are at his fingertips, Brandon has the responsibility of caring for his mother and brother on the South Side.
The show is executive produced and written by Waithe, who wowed Showtime execs in 2015 during the show’s first go around. “The two creative forces behind the show, both hailing from Chicago’s South Side, give this [project] an unparalleled authenticity,” said David Nevins, President, Showtime Networks Inc. “Lena Waithe is an extremely fresh, talented young writer with a unique voice and a deeply thoughtful perspective into the world where she grew up. I immediately gravitated to her script, which is emotional, funny, tragic and relevant, all at once. And, we are so fortunate to have artist and visionary Common for his first producing project in scripted television.”
Waithe’s resume is long and awesome. The 32-year-old has written for shows like Bones and produced the 2014 comedy, Dear White People. She’s also quite the scene stealer as Denise in the award-winning series, Master of None. Her name may ring a bell with web series enthusiasts with the 2013 show, Hello Cupid.
With creatives like Waithe, Issa Rae and Donald Glover working on shows that represent the current black experience, the sky’s the limit for representation on the small screen.