EMMY(R) WINNER LENA WAITHE TO EXECUTIVE PRODUCE SHOWTIME(R) COMEDY PILOT
HOW TO MAKE LOVE TO A BLACK WOMAN (WHO MAY BE WORKING THROUGH SOME SH*T)
Half-Hour Anthology Series Comes From Waithe's First-Look Deal With SHOWTIME
Written And Executive Produced By Cathy Kisakye
LOS ANGELES - February 20, 2019 - SHOWTIME has announced a pilot order for the half-hour comedy anthology series HOW TO MAKE LOVE TO A BLACK WOMAN (WHO MAY BE WORKING THROUGH SOME SH*T), which came to the network through its first-look deal with Lena Waithe. Series creator Casallina "Cathy" Kisakye (THE CHI) will write the pilot. Kisakye, Waithe and Rishi Rajani will executive produce. With each multi-part episode, HOW TO MAKE LOVE TO A BLACK WOMAN unfolds a new collection of characters in an authentic world, telling stories about connection and rejection that explore our most harrowing - and harrowingly comic - sexual secrets. The announcement was made today by Gary Levine, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc.
"Working with Lena is the gift that keeps on giving. We signed our first-look deal with her so that she could bring authentic and talented new voices to SHOWTIME," said Levine. "Cathy's comedy is raw, relevant, surprising, sexy and fun, and we are very excited about making it."
"Cathy's script is haunting, funny, and extremely vulnerable - it's the kind of script that doesn't come around very often," said Waithe. "I'm honored that Cathy trusts me with such a special project. I can't wait for the world to see it."
Waithe's signature creation, THE CHI, premiered in 2018 as the biggest launch for a SHOWTIME drama series in two years and continued to add tremendous growth in the second half of the season, with the finale outperforming the premiere by 64 percent. This month, the series received five NAACP Image Award nominations, the most of any cable drama. Produced entirely in its namesake city with Waithe as executive producer, THE CHI is a timely coming-of-age story that explores the humanity behind the headlines sensationalizing the South Side of Chicago. THE CHI returns for its second season on SHOWTIME beginning April 7 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
A champion for diversity in entertainment, Waithe is a triple threat as a producer, writer and actor who expertly taps into emerging cultural sensibilities with a sharp wit, speaking to myriad experiences from her unique perspective and challenging audiences to think outside of conventional norms. Prior to THE CHI, Waithe won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series, and a GLAAD Media Award, along with an NAACP Image Award Nomination for the Master of None episode "Thanksgiving" that she co-wrote and co-starred in. Waithe is executive producing the upcoming series Boomerang and Twenties. Her producing credits also include the films Step Sisters and Dear White People, which later became a TV series in which she guest starred. Her on-screen roles include Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One, as well as This Is Us, Transparent and The Comeback. Waithe was also named to Time magazine's Most Influential People of 2018. She was the recipient of The Trevor Project's Hero Award and MTV's Trailblazer Award.
Born in Uganda and raised outside of Boston, Kisakye wrote on both seasons of THE CHI. She is currently writing on the second season of Homecoming. Her work explores racial identity and sexual politics. "With HOW TO MAKE LOVE, I'm thrilled to tell stories about the women I know, who are complicated, passionate, resilient and relatable," said Kisakye. "Thank you to Lena and the entire team at Showtime for believing in this project."
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