Thursday, October 6, 2022

Lena Waithe Locks Down First-Look Deal With Showtime

Lena Waithe attends the 2018 Essence Festival presented by Coca-Cola at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on July 6, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Lena Waithe attends the 2018 Essence Festival presented by Coca-Cola at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on July 6, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

*Showtime has secured a deal with its bright star Lena Waithe, signing the Emmy-winning writer (and creator of “The Chi”) to a new first-look deal, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The pact comes on the heels of “The Chi’s” first season, which garnered critical acclaim for the Chicago-set drama and a quick renewal for season 2. The new deal is intended to have Waithe developing and creating new projects for the network in both the drama and comedy spaces.

“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.”

Said Showtime Networks programming president Gary Levine: “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. 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.”

The new deal, through her Hillman Grad Productions shingle, follows her comedy project “Twenties,” which was ordered to pilot at TBS back in February.

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