The Selma and Hell on Wheels actor has teamed up with fellow Chicagoan, Bones writer Lena Waithe, to produce the new project, which has been described as "a relevant, timely and distinctive coming-of-age story of a young African-American male, in which just growing up can be a matter of life and death".

Network executives at America's Showtime channel have ordered a pilot episode of the as-yet-untitled show, which will shoot in Chicago later this year (15), under the direction of The Wire's Clark Johnson.

Announcing the news, Showtime Networks president David Nevins states, "The two creative forces behind the show, both hailing from Chicago's South Side, give this pilot an unparalleled authenticity.

"Lena Waithe is an extremely fresh, talented young writer with a unique voice and a deeply thoughtful perspective into the world where she grew up. I immediately gravitated to her script, which is emotional, funny, tragic and relevant, all at once. And, we are so fortunate to have artist and visionary Common for his first producing project in scripted television."