Photo via: Getty Images
This past January, Lena Waithe’s “The Chi” premiered as Showtime’s biggest launch for a drama series in two years. Now just six months later, it’s been announced that Waithe has signed a first-look deal with the network, where she will create and develop new projects through her company Hillman Grad Productions.
“I have been a fan of Showtime for as long as I can remember,” said Waithe. “They make shows that most networks wouldn’t touch and they’ve never been afraid of taking risks. I look forward to introducing my Showtime family to fresh and exciting new voices. I want to make content that will challenge audiences and take them places they never thought TV could go. It’s going to be a fun ride.”
Waithe, who made history in 2017 as the first Black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing, created and executive produces “The Chi”- which got renewed for a second season in the same month that it first aired. She also holds producing credit for Netflix’s’ “Dear White People” and “Step Sisters”, as well as wrote the script for an upcoming new thriller called “Queen & Slim.” The film follows the story of a Black man and woman who killed a police officer in self-defense and have to go on the run.
Gary Levine, Showtime’s president of programming, said: “We fell in love with Lena’s voice when we ordered her pilot for ‘The Chi’ three years ago, and we have watched in awe at her powerful impact on our industry and our culture. Lena is a creative force of nature and we are delighted that the force will be with us as she makes Showtime her creative home.”