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Entertainment Weekly

TV

Showtime's The Chi renewed for season 2, receives new showrunner

Parrish Lewis/SHOWTIME

Posted on

The Chi will be back!

Lena Waithe’s (Master of None) sprawling Chicago-set drama has been renewed for a second season, which will be executive produced by new showrunner Ayanna Floyd Davis (Empire), Showtime announced Tuesday.

Created and executive produced by Waithe, The Chi is a powerful coming of age series about the South Side of Chicago and explores how the tragic deaths of two teenagers connects the people living in this neighborhood. It is currently in the middle of its first season, which stars Jason Mitchell (Mudbound), Jacob Latimore (Sleight), Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine (Queen of Katwe), Alex Hibbert (Moonlight), Yolonda Ross (Treme), Armando Riesco (Bull), and Tiffany Boone (The Following).

“I never thought I’d write about the city, but I just got to a place in my life where I think it was so misunderstood,” said Waithe about the show in an interview with EW in October.  “It’s a different side of my voice, about being black and human and trying to survive and have a dream. It’s raw. It’s real. I’m not sugar-coating. It’s not, ‘Let’s show black people in Chicago in a positive light.’ It’s, ‘I want to show people in a human light.'”

According to the press release, the show ranks as the network’s best series premiere since Billions in 2016, and its audience has grown every week. Showtime reports that the fourth episode, which aired Sunday, outperformed the series premiere by 41 percent.

“From viewers and critics alike, the response to The Chi has been so enthusiastic from the very start that our decision to renew the series was an easy one,” Gary Levine, Showtime’s president of programming, said in a press release announcing the renewal. “We love the vibrant characters and the nuanced world that Lena has created. Her vision for The Chi has clearly struck a chord and we know she has many more moving, personal and resonant stories to tell about her beloved hometown.”

Production on season 2 is expected to begin in Chicago later this year. The Chi is also executive produced by Common, Elwood Reid (The Bridge, Hawaii Five-O), Aaron Kaplan (Santa Clarita Diet, Divorce), Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), and Derek Dudley and Shelby Stone of Freedom Road Productions.

The Chi airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime.

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