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The Chi

The Chi

Photo Credit:  Showtime
  • Premiered: 
    January 7, 2018
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Showtime
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Drama
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Created by Lena Waithe 
  • Subject Matter: Family
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Plot Synopsis

Executive produced by and guest starring Common, THE CHI is a one-hour scripted series, filmed entirely in Chicago, that explores the humanity behind the headlines sensationalizing the South Side of the Windy City. Brandon the dreamer makes his own nearly impossible leap of faith to succeed in life and love with girlfriend Jerrika; Emmett is the carefree teen thrust into complex responsibilities with guidance from his mother Jada; and Ronnie is the drifter whose struggle for reciprocal love calls into question his every pursuit. Pre-teen Kevin, an unwitting eyewitness, must step past shattered illusions to return to the normal rites and passages of a childhood interrupted. They're all under the watchful eye of law enforcement, but Detective Cruz, a good neighborhood cop, works every case with justice, not incarceration, as his end goal. Their collective yearning to make their lives worthwhile and to overcome the roadblocks society has laid out for them, as well as their own personal flaws.

Season 2 of THE CHI premiered on Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 10pm ET/PT on Showtime. The second season spotlights the ambitious plan by Brandon to make his food truck a success, while navigating the class differences with his girlfriend Jerrika. Emmett will encounter a lot of bumps and bruises as he makes an effort to grow up and get custody of his son, guided by his mother Jada, who is discovering a new life of her own. Kevin reckons with the trauma of what he has experienced in his young life, as he strengthens the bonds with his buddies, Papa, and Jake, whose older brother Reg exposes Jake to twisted lessons in street survival. Lastly, an imprisoned Ronnie attempts to come to terms with killing Brandon's brother and reclaim his life, while Detective Cruz launches a new investigation. The season will also show the joys of living life on the Southside of Chicago. Guest stars for Season 2 include Carl Lumbly, Curtiss Cook, Crystal Dickinson and Kimberly Hebert Gregory. In the season opener, "Eruptions," Brandon deals with an unfortunate turn of events that takes him back to Reg. Jada makes a decision that forces Emmett to grow up. Kevin, Jake and Papa hatch a plan to do a project for school. Ronnie takes an inmate under his wing.

THE CHI returned for its third season on Sunday, June 21, 2020 at 9pm ET/PT on Showtime. In the season opener, "Foe 'Nem," a wedding alters Kevin and Kiesha's lives; Emmett juggles his business and his growing family; Ronnie struggles to find his way; Jake's estranged brother Trig lands back in town on a mission. Series creator Lena Waithe appears in a multi-episode arc as a Chicago mayoral candidate.

Season 4 of THE CHI premiered on Sunday, May 23, 2021 at 9pm ET/PT on Showtime. The 10-episode new season looks at the wide-ranging effects of policing in the Black community after Jake has a fateful run-in with a group of officers. Newlyweds Emmett and Tiff deal with the repercussions from his affair with Dom. Kiesha grapples with her pregnancy, while Jada finds love where she least expects. The relationship between Kevin and Jemma takes a turn, and Papa launches a new venture. New mayor Douda harnesses his newfound power while navigating his complicated relationship with wife Roselyn. Meanwhile, Trig and Imani are on a personal mission to help their community. Season 4 guest stars also include Tabitha Brown as Octavia, a successful interior designer who crosses paths with Kiesha; Jason Weaver as Rashaad "Shaad" Marshall, an old friend of Trig's struggling to rebuild his life; Vic Mensa as Jamal, whose fight to get help for his family places him at odds with Trig and Tracy; and Da Brat, who plays LaPorsha, a truck driver whose arrival in town will impact the Williams family.

The fifth season of THE CHI debuted on Sunday, June 26, 2022 at 9pm ET/PT on Showtime. The season opener was available on streaming and on demand for all Showtime subscribers two days earlier on Friday, June 24. Emmett attempts to win Tiff back. Kiesha looks to start a new chapter for her and her son. Kevin takes his passion to a new level. Jake tries out for the basketball team. Papa's announcement at the school pep rally quickly takes a turn for the worse. Jada hits a roadblock in her relationship with Suede. Trig takes a major step while continuing his efforts to protect the community. Douda and an old face return to visit Tracy. Kandi Burruss, La La Anthony, Jason Weaver and Iman Shumpert return as guest stars, along with new guest stars: Nia Jervier as Tierra, the poised, polished and driven god-niece of Douda, whom he recruits for a rebranding effort; and Carolyn Michelle Smith as Deja, a new love interest for Shaad who helps him level up in more ways than one; L'lerret Jazelle plays Fatima, a local journalist who wants the best for her neighborhood and isn't afraid to hold politicians' feet to the fire to get the truth; and Antonyah Allen is Simone, Kevin's new classmate, a creative introvert who constantly challenges him and opens his mind to new experiences.
On Sunday, September 4, 2022 at 9pm ET/PT, Showtime premiered "I Am the Blues," the Season 5 finale of THE CHI. Emmett supports Jada. Kiesha and Tiff come to a resolution. Pressure mounts on Douda. Trig makes a life-altering decision.

Two-and-a-half weeks earlier -- on Thursday, August 18 -- Showtime announced that it renewed THE CHI for a sixth season.


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by FOX 21


  • - Chicago, Illinois USA

Births, Deaths & Weddings

  • June 21, 2020: Nina Williams & Dre are married
  • August 16, 2020: Ronnie Davis dies