With a grand total of 1.68 million viewers over multiple platforms, the debut of The Chi proved the best premiere for Showtime since Billions opened on January 2016. While just over half of the 3.02 million that the Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti finance drama drew, the Lena Waithe created show about the Windy City’s South Side has up in its initial 10 PM airing from the 167,000 who watched the Jim Carrey EP’d I’m Dying Up Here and the 154,000 who tuned in for the now cancelled White Famous.
Down from the 788,000 sets of eyeballs that saw the November 5, 2017 opener of Globe nominated SMILF, The Chi drew 533.000 viewers last night in direct competition with the HFPA gathering that had a black attired Waithe among the attendees.
Over subsequent plays of a second episode and encores. The Chi had a total opening night audience of 875,000. Add to that the around 800,000 who watched the series’ pilot online and via steaming since it has been available over the last month.
As well as appearing in The Chi, fellow Chicagoan Common executive produces the coming of age series with Emmy winning Master of None writer Waithe.