As the Season 4 finale of The Chi ended with a cliffhanger on Sunday, series creator Lena Waithe announced the news during an Instagram Live that SHOWTIME has renewed The Chi for season 5. “Season 5 of The Chi is coming. It is done. It is written,” Waithe told fans, thanking them for their loyalty and viewership. … Continue reading “Lena Waithe announces SHOWTIME has renewed The Chi for Season 5”
Emmy Award-winning writer, creator, producer and actor Lena Waithe of Twenties, The Chi and Queen & Slim will headline DePaul University’s Courier 12 Screenwriting Conference Feb. 5-6. DePaul’s School of Cinematic Arts will present a series of virtual panel discussions with top screenwriting talent and TV and film executives from across the entertainment industry. Slated speakers include screenwriters Liz Hannah of The Post and Nicole Perlman of Guardians of … Continue reading “Lena Waithe headlines DePaul screenwriting conference”
“The Chi” Season 3 premieres this Sunday, June 21st at 8 PM CT on Showtime. Created by Chicago’s own Lena Waithe and filmed entirely in Illinois, “The Chi” is a coming-of-age drama series about a group of Black teenage boys from the city’s south side. An average day finds kids prepping for school as their parents head off to … Continue reading “Season 3 premiere of Lena Waithe’s ‘The Chi’”
There was a collective round of “yesses” heard along with gasps as the multitalented “queer girl from the South Side” was recognized for her amazing work on the just as amazing “Master of None” Sunday night at the Emmys. Lena Waithe. Actress. Producer. Screenwriter. Winner. And South Side made history as she became the first … Continue reading “Lena Waithe makes history”
In preparation for the season finale of The Chi, fans have been speculating what we can expect. Is Douda about to set Trig up? Can Dre forgive Nina? Will Emmett be enough for Tiff? And what’s going to happen with Jada? One thing we know for certain is that there WILL be a cliffhanger. The … Continue reading “The Chi Season 4 finale promises to end with a cliffhanger”
SHOWTIME, and cast members from its Chicago-based hit show The Chi, along with community leaders, today to announce a $500,000 donation from the network to the City’s Greencorps Chicago green job training program and the Chicago Public Art Group. The funding will support and invest in the City’s South and West sides, which have served … Continue reading “SHOWTIME / The Chi makes $500k donation to Greencorps Chicago”
IFA Chicago’s Executive Talks event series, is hosting Chicago-native, award-winning television director, producer, and writer, Daniel Willis in a virtual conversation moderated by IFA Chicago Executive Director, Angie Gaffney. Daniel Willis’ directing credits include Freeform/Hulu’s Cruel Summer, ABC’s The Rookie, NBC’s The Blacklist, and ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. He also recently served as producer/writer for the … Continue reading “IFA Chicago hosts Grey’s Anatomy director Daniel Willis”
From Emmy winner Lena Waithe, The Chi is a timely coming-of-age drama series centered on a group of residents who become linked by coincidence but bonded by the need for connection and redemption. This week’s episode, ‘Native Sun‘ opens with Kevin (Alex Hibbert) and Jake (Michael Epps) are serving in-school suspensions. Kevin was suspended for his … Continue reading “The Chi recap: ‘Native Sun’”
If you’re a fan of Showtime’s The Chi , then you are very aware of track-suit wearing, bluetooth earpiece toting, baby daddy of Emmett, Darnell. Since joining in Season 2, veteran actor Rolando Boyce has played the colorful, always-loaded-with-an-opinion character, with a mixture of genuineness, heart and comedy. Boyce is no stranger to the South Side … Continue reading “Going South Side with Rolando Boyce of ‘The Chi’”
SHOWTIME released the official trailer for the fourth season of the Chicago hit drama series THE CHI. Created and executive produced by Emmy winner Lena Waithe and executive produced by Academy Award, Emmy and Golden Globe winner Common, THE CHI returns on Sunday, May 23 at 8 p.m. THE CHI is a timely coming-of-age story centering on a group of residents … Continue reading “Official trailer for THE CHI 4th season premiere Sunday”
Chan C. Smith, a Chicago native who’s taken her skill as a storyteller to such genres as publishing, media and documentary film, is set to make her mark on the advertising scene by signing with Tessa Films. This is the director’s first representation agreement for advertising and branded content. Her signing was announced by Tessa … Continue reading “Chan C. Smith brings her storytelling skills to Tessa Films”
Film Independent announced nominations for the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Not just another pretty face on the awards circuit, the Spirit Awards are the primary fundraiser for the nonprofit Film Independent’s year-round slate of programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and promote diversity and inclusion in the industry. Film Independent President Josh … Continue reading “Film Independent Spirit Awards announces nominations”
What a year, huh? 2020, which felt like a decade, will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the worst years ever. And who will argue? Certainly not the staff at Reel Chicago. This year, COVID forced productions to shut down. Then start back up. Then shut back down. Then start back up. It … Continue reading “2020 in Review: Reel Chicago’s Biggest Stories”
SHOWTIME has picked up THE CHI for a fourth season. Filmed at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, created and executive produced by Emmy winner Lena Waithe and executive produced by Academy Award, Emmy and Golden Globe winner Common. Season three of THE CHI was up double-digits across platforms over last season and doubled its audience on streaming platforms. Season three cast included Ntare … Continue reading “The Chi will return to Cinespace for Season 4”
In less than two minutes, the new trailer for season three of THE CHI showcases Chicago as one of the most dazzling, diverse, and passionate cities on earth. Cut to the uplifting beat of hometown superstar Lupe Fiasco’s The Show Goes On, layers of the Windy City unfold as skyline views, church celebrations, and family … Continue reading “Showtime releases trailer for ‘THE CHI’ season three”
Chicago production community will have a busy season as hit Showtime series was renewed for a 3rd season along with Fox’s renewal of ‘Empire’ Showtime has announced has picked up the hit drama series The Chi for a third season. In a statement released today, network president Gary Levine said this about the series, which … Continue reading “It’s Showtime for ‘The Chi’ which has been renewed”
Cinematographer Abraham Martinez gets it done with help from Panavision’s Light Iron One of the strengths of the acclaimed series The Chi, created by Lena Waithe, is its multifaceted take on the experiences of living in Chicago’s South Side. It also does not shy away from the big issues that impact the city. Indeed, the … Continue reading “‘The Chi’: bringing life on the streets closer to home”
From data plots to story plots: This native Chicagoan, Duke University alum, and marketer / filmmaker produces everything from digital series to compelling content for top brands Kozi Kyles, co-founder of Myth Lab Entertainment, is an award-winning content producer and marketing executive with film / TV and media experience. While heading up brand partnerships for … Continue reading “Reel Black List: Kozi Kyles, creator, actor, entrepreneur”
Acting on Showtime’s hit series “The Chi” is just one of the versatile artist’s many career success stories Native Chicagoan La Donna Tittle is an accomplished actor, model, radio personality and CEO / producer / host of Cookin’ Wit’ Tittle … Bon Appetite, Let’s Eat, a spirited show about food and drink on CAN TV … Continue reading “Reel Black List: La Donna Tittle, Renaissance Woman”
Aside from Macy and “Roseanne’s” Laurie Metcalf, Chicago connections went ignored: nothing for “The Chi,” “Empire,” and Dick Wolf’s “Chicago” series Frank Gallagher is the worst father on TV, but for Two-time Emmy winner William H. Macy, the shiftless dad is pure gold. The talented actor scored his fifth Emmy nomination for his work … Continue reading “Macy nabs Emmy nom for Chi-based “Shameless””
The “seriously entertaining” show about four college-aged black women is on its way to the prestigious New York Television Festival (Chicago — 5 July 2018) Chicago-based web series Seeds won big at the 4th annual competition of the acclaimed SeriesFest television festival last week in Denver, CO. A socially conscious portrayal of the misadventures … Continue reading “Chicago-based “Seeds” among Best at SeriesFest”
Four new shows filming this summer and fall increase Windy City TV production to a record ten series Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Film Office at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) today announced ten shows will film this summer and fall in Chicago. This includes filming for four new shows, … Continue reading “Chicago records unprecedented TV production in 2018”
Showtime has ordered a second season of The Chi, a coming-of-age drama set in Chicago that has averaged four million weekly cross-platform viewers since debuting on January 7. Featuring an ensemble cast and multiple storylines, the series is not only produced entirely within the Windy City, but it also showcases a legion of homegrown talent. … Continue reading “Showtime: “The Chi” is on for season two”
Women and minorities represented 53% of all crew hires reported in 2017, according to a January 25 press release issued by the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. The amount marks a new record for diversity in the state’s film industry. “These productions generated $423 million in estimated Illinois spending,” the document continues, “and … Continue reading “Chicago helps grow diversity in Illinois productions”
Although Periscope editor Michael Thomas James got a year’s worth of sneak peeks at The Chi while finessing the show’s dailies during the wee hours of most mornings in 2017, he is still enthusiastic about the Showtime series’ premiere on Sunday night. “When I first saw the footage, it got me super excited to be … Continue reading “Behind the dailies (and long nights) of “The Chi””
It seems like 2017 began with the February passing of Ruth Ratny, the founder of Reel Chicago. The film, music, advertising and production communities honored her memory with remarkable passion, the whole time continuing to demonstrate the dedication, creativity, and support that made her so proud of the city. The ensuing months were full of … Continue reading “2017 Year in Review”
The south side of Chicago sure is getting some love from TV these days. There is Showtime’s hit series, Shameless, Emmy Winner Lena Waithe’s The Chi has wrapped production and now Comedy Central has greenlit a new series called South Side. And yes, hold onto your Craft Service cashews, it will be shooting in Chicago. … Continue reading “Comedy Central launches Chi-based series”
With more than 4,200 submissions, the 12th annual NBCUniversal Short Film Festival announced the winners from a group of nine finalists during the grand finale gala at the Director’s Guild in Los Angeles. The competition, which occurred Wednesday night, was stiff as the nine short films and web series presented were amazingly crafted and thoughtful … Continue reading “‘Groundhog Day for a Black Man’ wows fest crowd”
If 2016 was considered a great year for the Chicago media and entertainment business, 2017 is starting to shape up as even greater. It could even be the year when the Chicago market eases into $1 billion revenue from film status.
Thanks to Dick Wolf / NBC Universal and to Fox TV, six primetime TV series currently film here at Cinespace Studios, with three new TV series expected to start production in early February.
HAVAS CHICAGO’S OFFICE at busy Grand and Wabash is stopping traffic (in a good way) with its street level, experiential window display of flashing pink and purple neon lights and a sign reading “TOPLESS GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS” to show its support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
IN TUESDAY’S COLUMN I cheerfully wrote that it was good news for local production companies that Kraft Heinz’ forthcoming new agency would not be handling production, which will be outsourced to production houses.
Showtime is opening an office at Cinespace Aug. 28 to start production on a pilot for an untitled drama written by Lena Waite (“Dear White People”) and executive produced by Chicago native Common, both Chicago natives.