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Showtime Orders South Side-Set Drama Series 'The Chi' From Lena Waithe & Common

By Stephen Gossett in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 10, 2017 7:49PM

Lena Waithe / Getty Images / Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez

It’s been nearly a year-and-a-half since we first heard news that Showtime greenlit filming of a pilot, executive-produced by rapper Common and created by Lena Waithe (Dear White People), both Chicago natives, about black youth growing up on the South Side. After a long and winding road forward, the series is finally a go, Showtime announced on Monday.

The increasingly prestige-minded premium cable network told members of the Television Critics Association in Los Angeles that it had ordered a series for the hour-long drama, called The Chi.

The series has undergone some redevelopment overhauls since the pilot was filmed way back in the fall of 2015, Deadline reports. But at first blush, the changes appear positive. Since the project first started rolling, Rick Famuyiwa (writer-director of the 2015 coming-of-age standout Dope) is on board as part-time director and co-executive producer and Jason Mitchell (best known as Eazy-E in Straight Outta Compton) and has joined the cast.

The Chi news was a little bit overshadowed by Showtime's concurrent announcement of a Twin Peaks return premiere date, which is admittedly a pretty exciting big deal. But The Chi's at-long-last forward momentum has us just as thrilled.