Common EP on Showtime’s Chicago-set dramatic pilot

Chicago native Common to EP series

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.

The drama is described as “a relevant, timely and distinctive coming-of-age story of a young African-American male in which just growing up can be a matter of life and death.”

Waithe also executive produces with Common, Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment and director Clark Johnson (Homeland), who will direct, for Fox 21 TV Studios. The pilot will film in Chicago later this year.

Said Showtime Networks President David Nevins, referring to Waithe and Common, “The two creative forces behind the show, both hailing from Chicago’s South Side, give this pilot an unparalleled authenticity.

“Lena Waithe is an extremely fresh, talented young writer with a unique voice and a deeply thoughtful perspective into the world where she grew up. I immediately gravitated to her script, which is emotional, funny, tragic and relevant, all at once,” Deadline Hollywood reported.