Watch Lena Waithe and the cast of 'The Chi' discuss the show's inspiration and their characters (EXCLUSIVE)
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Watch Lena Waithe and the cast of 'The Chi' discuss the show's inspiration and their characters (EXCLUSIVE)

(Shadow & Act Exclusive): Here's an exclusive look behind-the-scenes of Showtime's upcoming series, The Chi, produced by Emmy winner Lena Waithe and Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy winner Common, and Elwood Reed.

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In this clip, Waithe, Jacob Latimore, Jason Mitchell, Common, Yolonda Ross, Alex Hibbert, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, and Sonja Sohn - discuss the inspiration for the series and what's in store for their characters in Season 1.

The series, which explores the humanity behind the headlines sensationalizing the South Side of Chicago, premieres on Sunday, January 7 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Produced entirely in its namesake city, The Chi is a timely 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 includes Mitchell (MudboundStraight Outta Compton), Latimore (Detroit, Sleight), Mwine (Queen of Katwe), Hibbert (Moonlight), Ross (Treme, The Get Down), Armando Riesco (Bull) and Tiffany Boone (The Following).

Kevin (Hibbert) is the pre-teen who must step past shattered illusions and embrace the normal rites of childhood, while Brandon (Mitchell) the dreamer makes his own nearly impossible leap of faith to succeed in life and love with girlfriend Jerrika (Boone). Emmett (Latimore) is the carefree teen thrust into complex responsibility with guidance from his mother Jada (Ross), and Ronnie (Mwine) is the drifter whose struggle to love and be loved calls into question his every pursuit. Sohn (The Wire), Jahking Guillory (Kicks), and Steven Williams (TheLeftovers) recur. In addition to Waithe, Common and Reid, Aaron Kaplan (Santa Clarita Diet, Divorce) serves as executive producer along with Rick Famuyiwa (Dope), who also directed the premiere episode, and Derek Dudley and Shelby Stone of Freedom Road Productions. The series is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios.

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