Although Showtime's highly-anticipated drama The Chi still doesn't air officially until the new year, anyone with internet access can now get an early peek at the premiere. The network announced on Friday that they've released the first episode of the Chicago-based drama ahead of schedule on streaming platforms including YouTube, Facebook and, as well as through various provider portals, Showtime's On Demand channels and on the Showtime website.

With Emmy-winner Lena Waithe and executive producer Common at the helm, The Chi centers on a series of interconnected stories featuring characters from Chicago's South Side, where the show was filmed entirely on location. (Showtime's release describes it as exploring "the humanity behind the headlines" of its real-life setting.) The show's ensemble cast includes Jacob Latimore, Alex Hibbert and Yolanda Ross.

The first episode of The Chi is available now on the aforementioned streaming platforms. The series will also premiere as planned on Showtime on Sunday, Jan. 7 at 10pm/9c.

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