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Showtime Gives Series Order to Drama ‘The Chi’

Showtime has given a series pickup to the Fox 21 drama “The Chi,” a coming-of-age story revolving around a group of people living on the South Side of Chicago.

Jason Mitchell (“Straight Outta Compton”) has joined the cast, playing a young man with ambitions of opening a restaurant but conflicted by his responsibilities to his mother and teenage brother in Chicago.

The series hails from writer Lena Waithe (“Bones,” “Master of None”), who will exec produce and serve as showrunner with Elwood Reid. A pilot was shot last year that was redeveloped. “Dope” helmer Rick Famuyiwa has come on board to direct the first episode. Common, Famuyiwa and Aaron Kaplan are also exec producers.

The Chi” is based on Waithe’s experiences growing up in Chicago.

“The Chi” is one of several new projects in contention for series orders at Showtime, including comedies “SMILF” and “Mating.” The former, penned by actress Frankie Shaw, is said to remain a hot prospect at the network.

“The Chi” pickup was unveiled Monday by Showtime Networks CEO David Nevins at the Television Critics Assn. press touring Pasadena, Calif.

(Pictured: Lena Waithe)

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