Though Showtime’s The Chi won’t officially premiere until 2018, the cable network has given audiences a generous preview of the highly anticipated drama series. Beginning today, the first episode of The Chi can be streamed for free on YouTube, Facebook, and SHO.com, as well as various TV streaming services and websites, including Showtime’s On Demand channels and website.
The hour-long drama is executive produced by Common, showrunner Elwood Reid, and Emmy-winning creator Lena Waithe (Master of None). The show has been described as a coming-of-age series that centers on a group of black characters in the South Side of Chicago. Production will also take place in the series’ namesake city.
“My mission is to humanize the people of the city,” Waithe told Ebony earlier this year. “I ask that people be patient with us in the first season, we’re trying to figure it out. It’s not just me. I have a lot of producing partners that work with me on the show. I think my biggest thing is definitely to maintain the integrity of the city. That’s my goal.”
The ensemble cast includes Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton), Alex Hibbert (Moonlight), Yolonda Ross (The Get Down), Jacob Latimore (Sleight), and Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine (Queen of Katwe).
You can check out the first episode of The Chi above. The show will premiere Jan. 7 on Showtime.