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Lena Waithe, Common Produce Drama Series

Lena Waithe, a JET 40-under-40 creative and co-producer of the socially critical and comedic film Dear White People, is bringing her writing prowess back to Chi-city.

This time, the Chicago native teamed up with fellow South Sider and rapper/actor, Common for an untitled drama series, expected to film in Chicago later this year.

The series, which also taps Waithe as an executive producer along with Comm and Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment, is described as a “distinctive coming-of-age story of a young African-American male in which just growing up can be a matter of life and death,” writes Reel Chicago.

Homeland’s Clark Johnson will direct the series pilot, for Fox 21 Studios.

The drama received the greenlight from Showtime, who will be opening an office at Cinespace, a Chicago film studio, to begin production for the pilot episode.

When asked about the project, Showtime Networks President David Nevins stated, “I immediately gravitated to her script, which is emotional, funny, tragic and relevant, all at once,” according to Deadline Hollywood.

Lena brings a creative and fresh energy to her work that enlist an authentic appeal. Whatever she and Common are cooking up is sure to be an exciting and possibly provocative endeavor.

Nice moves!