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CNN Going to ‘Chicagoland’

CNN has ordered an eight episode docu-series about the city of Chicago, “Chicagoland.”

The series is bring produced by Robert Redford and Laura Michalchyshyn of Sundance Productions, along with Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin of the Sundance Channel series “Brick City,” which was set in the city of Newark, New Jersey and helped give Cory Booker a national profile.

“Chicagoland” will be set in City Hall and in communities across the city. it isn’t clear whether Mayor Rahm Emanuel or his staff will allow themselves to be filmed for the series.

“The vibrant culture and opportunities inherent in this 21st century, world-class city run alongside profound daily challenges,” said Redford in a statement. “Much of it falls on the shoulders of its tough, visionary mayor, his team and people doing heroic work in neighborhoods throughout the city. Chicago has always had a rhythm all its own. It’s a city that wears its heart on its sleeve and I am honored to be a part of telling this story.”

“Chicagoland” will debut on CNN in early 2014.

More information below.

CNN to Launch New Original Series, CHICAGOLAND, With Executive Producer Robert Redford in 2014

Sundance Productions’ CHICAGOLAND is produced by BCTV ‘Brick City’ filmmakers Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin

Executive produced by Robert Redford and Laura Michalchyshyn of Sundance Productions, and award-winning filmmakers Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin of BCTV, CHICAGOLAND is a non-scripted, eight-part original series about a heartland American city. It is as authentic an American city as there is, and the series will explore where politics and policy meet real people’s lives – in a city generating change and innovation in social policy, education, and public safety – to meet national and local challenges.

Beginning in early 2014, viewers will watch the riveting, real-life drama of a city looking to unite at this critical moment in the city’s history. In the aftermath of a countrywide economic collapse, Chicago faces the challenges of improving its public education system, and neighborhood and youth safety. Can the city’s leaders, communities, and residents come together in ways that expand opportunities and allow aspirations to be realized?

“The vibrant culture and opportunities inherent in this 21st century, world-class city run alongside profound daily challenges,” said Redford. “Much of it falls on the shoulders of its tough, visionary mayor, his team and people doing heroic work in neighborhoods throughout the city,” continued Redford. “Chicago has always had a rhythm all its own. It’s a city that wears its heart on its sleeve and I am honored to be a part of telling this story,” he added.

“We’re very pleased to bring this unique long-form series to the network,” said Amy Entelis, senior vice president for talent and content development for CNN Worldwide. “CHICAGOLAND is a creative exploration of stories relevant to every city and every American,” Entelis said.

“CNN is thrilled to collaborate with the team that brought the award-winning BRICK CITY to television, and producers Redford and Michalchyshyn, to spotlight this groundbreaking story,” said Vinnie Malhotra, senior vice president of development and acquisitions for CNN Worldwide. “CHICAGOLAND will be shared with CNN’s global audience – and supported by supplemental reporting on the critical issues explored in the series,” Malhotra said.

“Chicago is the quintessential American city and where it goes tells us a lot about where our country is going,” said series producer Levin. “We are excited to bring this new kind of docu-series to CNN.”

“If change can happen here – at this school, it can happen anywhere,” Fenger High School principal Liz Dozier vows in CHICAGOLAND. Fenger’s stories, and other Chicago tales, unfold on CNN in early 2014.

About Sundance Productions
Launched and founded in 2012 by Robert Redford and Laura Michalchyshyn, Sundance Productions develops and produces innovative, compelling television content for linear and digital platforms in the U.S. and around the world. Sundance Productions partners with leading story-tellers, directors, and producers for the production of authentic tentpole series and specials across all platforms.

About CNN
CNN Worldwide is a portfolio of two dozen news and information services across cable, satellite, radio, wireless devices and the Internet in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Domestically, CNN reaches more individuals on television, the web and mobile devices than any other cable TV news organization in the United States; internationally, CNN is the most widely distributed news channel reaching more than 271 million households abroad; and CNN Digital is a top network for online news, mobile news and social media. Additionally, CNN Newsource is the world’s most extensively utilized news service partnering with hundreds of local and international news organizations around the world. CNN is division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company.

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