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‘The Chi’ Ups Justin Hillian to Showrunner, Ayanna Floyd Davis Exits

The Chi” has appointed a new showrunner for its forthcoming third season.

Writer Justin Hillian will take over from season 2 showrunner Ayanna Floyd Davis, who departs as the series looks to emerge from the cloud of the Jason Mitchell misconduct affair.

It was revealed in May that Mitchell had been fired from the series due to allegations of harassment from Floyd Davis and co-star Tiffany Boone. It was subsequently revealed that Mitchell had engaged in similar behavior on the set of the Netflix film “Desperados,” leading to his dismissal from that project as well. Showtime co-president Gary Levine said in August that Mitchell’s character would be killed off.

Floyd Davis addressed Mitchell’s misconduct directly in a statement issued back in May.

“When I took the helm in season two, it was Lena who informed me of the issues between Jason Mitchell and Tiffany Boone from season one, and that Tiffany was thinking of leaving the show because of it,” she said. “As a result of this information, I discussed Tiffany’s claims with the studio’s HR department and set up HR presentations for the writers, cast and crew. Ultimately, everyone was well aware of Jason’s behavior and his multiple HR cases, including Lena, the creator and an executive producer of the show, who is very involved at the studio and network level.”

Showtime co-president Gary Levine revealed in August that Mitchell’s character would be killed off.

The series has also announced that “Star” actor Luke James, “Power” actress La La Anthony, and comedian Lil Rel Howery have signed on to guest star in multiple episodes of the third season. In addition, Birgundi Baker, who plays Kiesha, has been upped to a series regular. Production on season 3 is currently in production in Chicago, with the series returning to the cabler in 2020.

James will play Victor “Trig” Taylor, Jake’s (Michael V. Epps) estranged older brother who wants to reunite his fractured family, but takes an unconventional approach. Anthony will play Dominique “Dom” Morris, a savvy businesswoman with dreams of more lucrative opportunities. Howery will play Zeke Remnick, the owner of Sonny’s building who cares less about the community than the bottom line.  

Created and executive produced by Lena Waithe and executive produced by Common, “The Chi” centers on a group of residents who become linked by coincidence but bonded by the need for connection and redemption. The cast for season 3 includes Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Jacob Latimore, Alex Hibbert, Yolonda Ross, Shamon Brown Jr., Epps and Baker.

In addition to Waithe and Common, Aaron Kaplan, Rick Famuyiwa, Derek Dudley and Shelby Stone of Freedom Road Productions, Jet Wilkinson and Hillian serve as executive producers. The show hails from Fox 21 Television Studios.

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