Showtime picks up Chicago-centric drama series “The Chi”

SHARE Showtime picks up Chicago-centric drama series “The Chi”

Lena Waithe | SHOWTIME

Showtime has given a series order to “The Chi,” the deeply Chicago-centric series created by Lena Waithe and produced by rapper-actor Common.

The one-hour drama series will be “a relevant, timely and distinctive coming-of-age story” following lows a half dozen interrelated characters in the South Side, a Showtime announcement said.

A spokesman for the show’s studio, Fox 21, said episodes will shoot in Chicago from late April to September.

Waithe, a native South Sider, also is a cast member on the acclaimed Aziz Ansari series “Master of None” on Netflix.

“The Chi” originated with a pilot Waithe and Common made with director Clark Johnson in Chicago in 2015. At the time, Waithe told the Sun-Times’ Bill Zwecker the series would be “about Chicago and what’s happening in the city right now — unfortunately including all the gun violence that’s running rampant.”

A new premiere will be directed by Rick Famuyiwa (“Dope”).

Among the cast will be Jason Mitchell, who played Eazy-E in “Straight Outta Compton.” His role will be ambitious and confident young man who dreams about opening a restaurant, but is torn by his responsibilities to his mother and teenage brother.

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