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The Chi’s Lena Waithe Inks First-Look Deal with Showtime


Emmy-winning writer and producer Lena Waithe (The Chi) has signed a first-look deal with Showtime.

Waithe will work with Showtime on comedy and drama projects that she both writes and produces through her company Hillman Grad Productions. The first-look deal builds on her relationship with the network that launched her first series as a creator and executive producer.

“We fell in love with Lena’s voice when we ordered her pilot for The Chi three years ago, and we have watched in awe at her powerful impact on our industry and our culture,” said Gary Levine, president of programming at Showtime Networks. “Lena is a creative force of nature and we are delighted that the force will be with us as she makes Showtime her creative home.”

“I have been a fan of Showtime for as long as I can remember,” said Waithe. “They make shows that most networks wouldn’t touch and they’ve never been afraid of taking risks. I look forward to introducing my Showtime family to fresh and exciting new voices. I want to make content that will challenge audiences and take them places they never thought TV could go. It’s going to be a fun ride.”

About Kristin Brzoznowski

Kristin Brzoznowski is the executive editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


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