Some good news for Chicagoans on the heels of their beloved Cubs’ exit from the playoffs… Comedy Central has given a series order to SOUTH SIDE, and it will be shooting in Chicago. At the heart of the series are brothers Bashir and Sultan Salahuddin, who were raised on the South Side of Chicago. SOUTH SIDE was one of nine pilots ordered this past April and is one of only two to receive that coveted series order to date, alongside THE OTHER TWO, from former SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE co-head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider.
SOUTH SIDE centers around two longtime friends trying to better their lives despite the numerous socioeconomic and political obstacles they face on a daily basis, authentically exploring the ups and downs of the ensemble of characters.
“The whole SOUTH SIDE team is stoked to hear that we’ve been picked up,” Chicago-based Production Supervisor Holli Hopkins-McGinley told SCREEN. “This series highlights the colorful, warm and hilarious characters who reside on Chicago’s South Side and I think viewers are really going to connect with them. The biggest challenge our crew faced on set was holding in laughter during takes!”
Written by the Salahuddin brothers and Diallo Riddle (LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON), SOUTH SIDE will be executive produced by Riddle, Bashir Salahuddin and Michael Blieden (also a FALLON alum). Blieden directed the pilot and is expected to direct episodes for the series. Riddle & Bashir Salahuddin previously wrote and starred in an Atlanta comedy pilot for HBO exec produced by Lorne Michaels. They also wrote for Comedy Central’s CHOCOLATE NEWS WITH DAVID ALAN GRIER.
“Though Chicago is often viewed in a negative way these days, our show aims to find joy in the fuller picture of the city. Chicago, and specifically the South Side of Chicago, is a diverse place where families live, where people laugh, where kids have dreams and goals and yes, even some good times. It’s a special place full of unique experiences, a place some of us call home,” said executive producers Salahuddin, Riddle and Blieden, in a joint statement.
As SOUTH SIDE heads into production, I’ll keep you posted.
Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, www.midwestfilm.org. Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac at www.findmac.com.