TCA 2019: ‘The Chi’ Back on Showtime April 7, ‘City on a Hill’ Starts June 16

Season two of drama The Chi returns to Showtime Sunday, April 7. Lena Waithe created the show, and executive produces as well, along with Common.

Gary Levine, Showtime president of programming, shared the news at TCA in Pasadena.

Showtime calls it “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.”

Cast includes Jason Mitchell, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Jacob Latimore and Alex Hibbert. Set in Chicago’s Southside, The Chi averaged 4.5 million weekly viewers across platforms, said Showtime.

Season two will spotlight the ambitious plan by Brandon (Mitchell) to make his food truck a success, while navigating class differences with girlfriend Jerrika (Tiffany Boone). Emmett (Latimore) gets bumps and bruises as he makes an effort to get custody of his son, guided by his mother Jada (Yolonda Ross). Kevin (Hibbert) deals with the trauma of what he has experienced in his young life, and strengthens the bonds with his buddies, Papa (Shamon Brown Jr.) and Jake (Michael V. Epps), whose older brother Reg (Barton Fitzpatrick) exposes Jake to twisted lessons in street survival.

An imprisoned Ronnie (Mwine) attempts to come to terms with killing Brandon’s brother and reclaim his life, while Detective Cruz (Armondo Riesco) launches a new investigation.

Ayanna Floyd Davis is an executive producer and the showrunner for season two. In addition to Waithe and Common, Floyd Davis and Aaron Kaplan are executive producers, along with Rick Famuyiwa, Derek Dudley and Shelby Stone of Freedom Road Productions.

The Chi is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios.

Drama City on a Hill, starring Kevin Bacon, begins Sunday, June 16. There are ten episodes in the first season. The show is created and executive produced by Chuck MacLean, with Tom Fontana the showrunner.

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are executive producers.

It is set in early ‘90s Boston, where criminals ran the streets, law enforcement was corrupt and racism was common, according to the network.

Assistant district attorney Decourcy Ward (Aldis Hodge) arrives from Brooklyn and forms an unlikely alliance with a corrupt FBI veteran, Jackie Rohr (Bacon). They take on a family of armored car robbers from Charlestown in a case that grows to involve, and ultimately subvert, the entire criminal justice system of Boston.

Showtime produces the series. The cast includes Jonathan Tucker, Mark O’Brien, Jill Hennessy and Lauren E. Banks.

City on a Hill is executive produced by MacLean, Fontana, Affleck, Damon, Jennifer Todd, Michael Cuesta, James Mangold and Barry Levinson.

Billions starts March 17. Levine said Shameless comes back for season ten later this year. Homeland begins production on its final season in the coming days, which starts in the fall. The Roger Ailes series The Loudest Voice airs in the summer. 

Levine said a sequel to The L Word is happening, and is likely to premiere later this year. Bryan Cranston will star in the legal thriller Your Honor. 

Hip-hop documentary Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men begins Friday, May 10. There are four parts in the documentary series from Sacha Jenkins.

The hip-hop group marks the 25th anniversary of their breakout debut album Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). The series follows the founding members – RZA, GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon the Chef, U-God, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Masta Killa and Cappadonna – from their upbringings in Staten Island and Brooklyn.

Of Mics and Men is a Mass Appeal production in association with Endeavor Content. Peter J. Scalettar, Peter Bittenbender and Chris Gary are executive producers.

Showtime will premiere the documentary XY Chelsea, about whistle-blower Chelsea Manning, Friday, June 7. Tim Travers Hawkins directs and Pulse Films produces.

Manning’s 35-year sentence in a maximum security prison was commuted by President Obama in 2017. The project features exclusive interviews with Manning. It begins on the day she leaves prison and follows her through her journey of discovery, while also examining her place in the conversation on national security and the fight of the transgender community.

Laura Poitras, Mary Burke, Michael Bloom, Lisa Leingang, Charlotte Cook, Sharon Chang, Blaine Vess, Christos V. Konstantakopoulos, Marisa Clifford and Ryan Harrington are executive producers.

Levine also announced that Paco Cabezas will direct multiple episodes of Penny Dreadful: City of Angels. Creator, writer and exec producer John Logan will continue in those roles. 

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.