EXCLUSIVE: Showtime’s hit drama The Chi, which films entirely in Chicago, has paused production on its upcoming sixth season, effective today. The decision was made Monday after a second consecutive day of shooting was disrupted by WGA strike-related picketing.
Eight episodes from Season 6 have been completed. I hear The Chi, whose seasons have consisted of 10 episodes each, had been slated to shoot for another couple of weeks from completed scripts. It is unclear when production will resume.
Showtime has not set a Season 6 premiere date yet. It is possible that the season gets split into two, so fans get fresh episodes sooner. Reps for Showtime and The Chi producer 20th Television declined to comment.
After writers Sunday night were alerted on social media that The Chi production had asked those working on the show to be at the Cinespace Chicago Film Studios before 4 AM Monday to avoid picketers, they sent out a call to action, getting a picket line at the studio up and running in the wee hours.
As a result, The Chi could not film today, I hear, with WGA strike captains thanking teamsters and IATSE.
That followed a canceled location shoot Friday afternoon when a similar Rapid Response appeal on social media sent picketers to the address ahead of filming.
Ultimately, a decision was made Monday evening to shut down production for the immediate future.
The Chi created and executive produced by Lena Waithe and executive produced by Common, is a coming-of-age drama set in the South Side of Chicago.
Along with Waithe and Common, the series is executive produced by showrunner Justin Hillian, Aaron Kaplan, Rick Famuyiwa, Derek Dudley and Shelby Stone of ID8 Multimedia, Rishi Rajani, CEO of Hillman Grad Productions, and Jewel Coronel.