‘The Chi’: Justin Hillian Named New Showrunner As Ayanna Floyd Davis Exits; Birgundi Baker Upped To Series Regular; Luke James, La La Anthony & Lil Rel Howery To Recur

Denise Petski

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Production is underway on Season 3 of Showtime’s The Chi with a new showrunner and executive producer. Writer Justin Hillian (Snowfall) will run the upcoming third season, replacing Ayanna Floyd Davis, Showtime said today. Additionally Birgundi Baker (Empire, Chicago Med), who plays Kiesha, has been promoted to series regular, and Luke James (Star, Little), La La Anthony (Power) and Lil Rel Howery (Get Out, Bird Box) have signed on to recurring roles.

The showrunner change follows the exit last season of Jason Mitchell, one of the series’ leads, who was let go in May over allegations of inappropriate behavior. Floyd previously issued a statement that producer and creator Lena Waithe was made aware of complaints against Mitchell during the show’s first season, but he was still written in to return for the show’s third season. Mitchell was cut after Season 2 had wrapped.

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“When I took the helm in season two, it was Lena who informed me of the issues between Jason Mitchell and Tiffany Boone from season one, and that Tiffany was thinking of leaving the show because of it,” Floyd Davis said. “As a result of this information, I discussed Tiffany’s claims with the studio’s HR department and set up HR presentations for the writers, cast and crew. Ultimately, everyone was well aware of Jason’s behavior and his multiple HR cases, including Lena, the creator and an executive producer of the show, who is very involved at the studio and network level.”

Created and executive produced by Waithe and executive produced by Common (Selma), 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.

In Season 3, James will recur as Victor “Trig” Taylor, Jake’s (Michael V. Epps) estranged older brother who wants to reunite his fractured family, but takes an unconventional approach. Anthony will play Dominique “Dom” Morris, a savvy businesswoman with dreams of more lucrative opportunities. Howery will portray Zeke Remnick, the owner of Sonny’s building who cares less about the community than the bottom line.

Season three cast includes Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine (Queen of Katwe), Jacob Latimore (Sleight), Alex Hibbert (Moonlight), Yolonda Ross (Treme), Shamon Brown Jr., Epps and Baker. The Chi is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios.

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