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Showtime picks up new Chicago-based drama ‘The Chi’

Showtime picks up new Chicago-based drama ‘The Chi’
Photograph: Todd MacMillan/Showtime
Lena Waithe, creator and executive producer of the Showtime original series 'The Chi'

A brand new Chicago-based drama series will shed light on the lives of young black men living on the city’s South Side. Showtime announced this week that it will pick up the one-hour drama, created by Chicago native and Dear White People producer Lena Waithe.

The Chi will follow a handful of characters on Chicago’s South Side and promises viewers a “relevant, timely and distinctive coming-of-age story.” Jason Mitchell, who played Eazy-E in 2015’s Straight Outta Compton, is among those joining the cast. His character is described as a confident and ambitious young man who is torn between his responsibilities to his family and a promising new life.

The cable network revealed that rapper and actor Common has signed on as an executive producer, along with Waithe, Aaron Kaplan (Secrets and Lies, The Mysteries of Laura) and Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), who will produce and direct the show’s premiere episode. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, The Chi’s pilot was shot and produced by Waithe and Common in 2015.

A date for the show’s premier has not been set, but filming for The Chi is expected to begin in the spring. 

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