It’s official! Showtime has given a series order to hour-long drama The Chi, from Lena Waithe, Elwood Reid, Common, Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and Fox 21 TV Studios. The pilot was set in motion last year and was then redeveloped with Dope writer-director Rick Famuyiwa on board as director.
Created/executive produced by Waithe, The Chi is a relevant, timely and distinctive coming-of-age story that follows a half dozen interrelated characters on the South Side of Chicago. Straight Outta Compton’s Jason Mitchell will play Brandon, an ambitious and confident young man who dreams about opening a restaurant of his own someday, but is conflicted between the promise of a new life and his responsibility to his mother and teenage brother back on the South Side.
The initial pilot did not go to series; however, a writers room was set up to produce several scripts and outlines, including a new pilot script. Based on the new material, Famuyiwa was brought in as the director, and will now serve as an executive producer on the potential series alongside Waithe, Kaplan and Reid, and he will also direct the premiere episode.
Waithe’s upcoming drama will join dramas such as Billions, The Affair, Episodes, Homeland, Dice, Ray Donovan and Shameless in addition to upcoming series including Guerrilla, I’m Dying Up Here, Purity and the Twin Peaks mini series.
Waithe served as one of the producers of the hit indie film Dear White People. She has also written for Bones and is the creator of the popular web series Hello Cupid. Waithe can be seen next on season 2 of Netflix’s Master of None.