NEW YORK – April 3, 2019 – It’s a big CNN Original Series premiere night on Sunday, April 28 with the series launch of The Redemption Project with Van Jones at 9 p.m. ET/PT and the season four premiere of the Emmy Award-winning United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell, at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
The Redemption Project with Van Jones is a new eight-part CNN Original Series, created and executive produced by Jonas Bell Pasht and Jonah Bekhor of Citizen Jones and Academy-Award®-nominated director Jason Cohen. Offering a rare glimpse into the restorative justice process, each episode follows the victim, or surviving family members, of a life-altering crime as they journey to meet face-to-face with their offender in the hopes of finding answers or some sense of healing. Van Jones serves as a guide for the viewer throughout this transformational experience. Through unique access to the U.S. prison system, this powerful series explores the human potential for redemption.
“I wanted to do The Redemption Project because I think we have lost our sense of grace and empathy and the capacity to forgive in our culture, at the highest levels,” said Jones. “This series is my attempt to put some medicine into our very sick system and to uplift people who are doing extraordinarily courageous things every day.”
In the series premiere, Jones heads to Los Angeles to meet with Mariah Lucas, a 25-year-old mother of three whose own mother was murdered when Mariah was a toddler. Mariah sits down face-to-face with Jason Clark, the man who stabbed her mom in a drug-fueled dispute over money.
Jones will also host the new CNN-produced podcast, Incarceration Inc. with Van Jones, available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Spotify and other podcast platforms beginning Monday, May 6. In the four-episode series, Jones goes behind the numbers of America’s mass incarceration industry to help listeners better understand the criminal justice system and explore solutions to what has become a national epidemic.
The Redemption Project is produced by Citizen Jones. Executive producers are Jonas Bell Pasht, Jonah Bekhor, Jason Cohen, Sonia Slutsky, and Magic Labs Media’s Van Jones and Jana Carter. Amy Entelis and Lizzie Fox executive produce for CNN. The series will regularly air Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell, produced by Main Event Media and All3Media America, is an eight-part Emmy Award-winning CNN Original Series that follows sociopolitical comedian Bell as he explores communities across the country to understand the unique challenges they face. In the season four premiere, Bell heads to Dallas to learn about the business of megachurches. In subsequent episodes he will explore the experiences of Hmong Americans, black Midwesterners, white activists in Seattle, women fighting for reproductive justice in Mississippi, the LGBTQ+ community in Salt Lake City, and residents of D.C. that represent a vibrant culture distinct from the politics surrounding them.
“Everywhere I go – airports, coffee shops, the park with my kids — people tell me how much United Shades of America means to them,” said Bell. “They say it’s the first time they’ve seen their community portrayed authentically on TV. And I also get feedback on what could be done differently. All those conversations informed this season and you will immediately know that from the first notes of our new theme song, ‘Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing’.”
United Shades of America is executive produced by Bell, Jimmy Fox and Layla Smith for Main Event Media/All3Media America and Amy Entelis and Lizzie Fox for CNN. The series will regularly air Sunday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
The Redemption Project and United Shades of America will stream live for subscribers the day of their premieres via CNNgo (at CNN.com/go and via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Samsung Smart TV and Android TV) and on the CNN mobile apps for iOS and Android. Beginning April 19, the first episode of The Redemption Project will be available on demand to subscribers via cable/satellite systems, CNNgo platforms and CNN mobile apps. Both series will also be available the day after the broadcast premiere on demand via cable/satellite systems, CNNgo platform and CNN mobile apps.
About CNN Original Series
The CNN Original Series group develops non-scripted programming for television via commissioned projects, acquisitions and in-house production. Amy Entelis, executive vice president of talent and content development, oversees CNN Original Series and CNN Films for CNN Worldwide. Lizzie Fox, vice president of current programming, supervises production of all CNN Original Series.