It’s Showtime for Lena Waithe and Common’s New Chicago Drama


January 9, 2017


This week, Showtime announced it officially gave actress/producer Lena Waithe and rapper/actor Common’s drama “The Chi” a series order! Waithe created and wrote the drama, and Common, executive produced. 


The hour-long show, directed by Rick Famuyiwa, is focused around a young African American man growing up on the South Side of Chicago, who dreams of starting his own restaurant. However, he’s at a crossroads and is struggling between the possibility of building a brighter future and his responsibilities to his mother and brother back home. 

Showtime president, David Nevins said of Waithe and Common: “The two creative forces behind the show, both hailing from Chicago’s South Side, give this pilot an unparalleled authenticity. 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 shared in a 2015 interview with Vogue Magazine that she knew that she wanted to become a television writer at age 7. Waithe’s early discovery of her passion for television, coupled with hard work, led her to do some amazing things such as: write for major networks (Fox and Nickelodeon), produce a feature film (“Dear White People”), and co-star in Netflix’s “Masters of None”. Now Waithe will have her own show on a major cable network, joining other incredible Black creatives such as Issa Rae and Donald Glover, who have also penned their reality to create television shows that authentically depicts African American life. 


Stay tuned here for more updates on the upcoming series. 


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