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Showtime will stay in the Windy City for another season of The Chi.
The premium cable outlet has renewed the Lena Waithe-created drama for a fourth season following ratings growth for the third run, which aired its season finale on Aug. 23. Justin Hillian will return as executive producer and showrunner in season four, marking the first time the series hasn’t changed showrunners between seasons.
“Each season, The Chi’s authentic storytelling resonates more deeply with its devoted and growing audiences,” said Showtime Entertainment president Gary Levine. “Lena Waithe together with Justin Hillian explore the joys and the heartbreak of life on the South Side in a way that is unique on television, and we relish the prospect of continuing that exploration with them.”
Said Waithe, “This show has definitely taken me on a journey. One of learning, healing, and growth. I didn’t know how this season would be received, but the level of engagement and enthusiasm from the fans has been fantastic. I still can’t believe our numbers are up by double digits! The Chi is a team effort, and I’m grateful to continue this journey with such an amazing group of people.”
The Chi has had its share of behind-the-scenes turmoil. Actor Jason Mitchell was dismissed from the series after season two finished production following multiple complaints of inappropriate conduct on set. One of those complaining was his co-star Tiffany Boone, who left the show midway through the second season.
Season two showrunner Alanna Floyd Davis also filed an HR complaint against Mitchell and challenged Waithe on her handling of the situation.
“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,” Floyd Davis said in a statement to THR in 2019. “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.”
Waithe, for her part, later said, “I wish I would’ve handled the situation differently, and I wish I would’ve done more. What I want to do is own my part in it.”
The Chi‘s on-air numbers for season three rose slightly year to year, and Showtime says that across all platforms, the series grew by more than 10 percent over season two — including doubling its audience on streaming.
The Touchstone TV series is executive produced by Waithe, Hillian, Common, Aaron Kaplan of Kaptial Entertainment, Derek Dudley and Shelby Stone of Freedom Road Productions, Rick Famuyiwa and Jet Wilkinson.
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