'The Chi' Renewed for Season 2 at Showtime — With New Showrunner

The Lena Waithe drama debuted earlier in January, pleasing critics and averaging 4 million weekly viewers.
Courtesy of Showtime

Showtime will go back to The Chi, commissioning a second season of the Lena Waithe-created drama just a month into its run.

“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,” said Showtime Networks programming president Gary Levine. “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.”

The hourlong exploration of Chicago's South Side, from the Emmy-winning Master of None writer, has been averaging 4 million weekly viewers across platforms since it debuted Jan. 7. Its first season thus far ranks as the best for the network since Billions in 2016, and the latest episode represents 41 percent growth from the premiere. It is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios, and will resume filming in Chicago later in 2018. Additionally, Ayanna Floyd Davis (Empire, Hannibal) has signed on for season two as executive producer and showrunner. She replaces Elwood Reid, who helped steer series in its freshman run. The showrunner change comes as The Chi underwent a series of recastings and reshoots before it was picked up to series.

A renewal for The Chi follows decisions on other recent freshmen, and it joins Frankie Shaw's SMILF in coming back for a second go.

The Chi stars Jason Mitchell, Jacob Latimore, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Alex Hibbert, Yolonda Ross, Armando Riesco and Tiffany Boone. Its freshman season is still airing Sundays at 10 p.m. on Showtime.

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