Showtime has ordered a second season of hit drama series The Chi, created and executive produced by Lena Waithe (Master of None), and executive produced by Common (Selma). In addition, Ayanna Floyd Davis (Empire, Hannibal) has signed on for Season 2 as executive producer and showrunner. The series, produced by Fox 21 Television Studios, will go back into production in Chicago later this year.
The January 7 premiere of The Chi was the strongest series for Showtime since Billions in 2016. The series has averaged four million weekly viewers across platforms, with its most recent episode outperforming the premiere by 41 percent, according to Showtime.
Produced entirely in its namesake city, The Chi is a coming-of-age story centering on a group of residents who become linked by coincidence but bonded by the need for connection and redemption. The ensemble cast for season one includes Jason Mitchell (Mudbound, Straight Outta Compton), Jacob Latimore (Sleight), Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine (Queen of Katwe), Alex Hibbert (Moonlight), Yolonda Ross (Treme, The Get Down), Armando Riesco (Bull) and Tiffany Boone (The Following).
In addition to Waithe and Common, Elwood Reid (The Bridge, Hawaii Five-O) and Aaron Kaplan (Santa Clarita Diet, Divorce) serve as executive producers for season one, along with Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), who also directed the pilot episode, and Derek Dudley and Shelby Stone of Freedom Road Productions.
“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, President of Programming, Showtime Networks said. “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.”