As everyone finishes binge-watching “Tiger King,” Netflix is preparing to release their next true crime documentary, “The Innocence Files.” The nine episode series looks at the attorneys and clients brought together as part of the Innocence Project, a non-profit organization committed to criminal justice reform and changing wrongful convictions. Episodes will be directed by Liz Garbus, Alex Gibney, Roger Ross Williams, Jed Rothstein, Andy Grieve, and Sarah Dowland.
The trailer for the series situates this as a show where the verdicts have already been decided — and the inherent knowledge that said verdict is wrong. Nine different cases are laid out, involving predominately men of color, who are serving long-term sentences for crimes they didn’t commit. One attorney says about one case that there is no physical evidence connecting the client to the crime. Are these convictions frame-up jobs to secure a conviction? That’s up for the viewer to decide but as the attorneys and men involved share their stories there looks to be a lot of tears. The final line spoken by one attorney, “The best thing a lawyer can do with their license is get an innocent guy out of prison” is resonant.
Netflix has been at the forefront of discussing wrongful convictions and the prison industrial complex. They are the streaming home for the incredibly powerful “Time: The Kalief Browder Story” and also put out Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us.” DuVernay’s look at the Central Park now Exonerated Five and their trial for rape and assault was a critical darling, winning a Primetime Emmy for actor Jharrel Jerome. Netflix and DuVernay are also currently being sued by former New York prosecutor Linda Fairstein for what she considers an unfair portrayal of herself. With regards to the lawsuit Netflix says, ““Linda Fairstein's frivolous lawsuit is without merit. We intend to vigorously defend 'When They See Us' and Ava DuVernay and Attica Locke, the incredible team behind the series.”
It would be hard to watch all of these titles back-to-back but they certainly show a grander awareness of the prison system and how many men slip through the cracks. With so many new movies and shows hitting Netflix in April “The Innocence Files” is one to add.
“The Innocence Files” hits Netflix April 15.
Jill Halfpenny, Jonas Armstrong and Rupert Penry-Jones are to star in an identity thriller for British broadcaster Channel 5 from Noel Clarke and Jason Maza’s Unstoppable Film & Television.
The Drowning is the latest drama order for the ViacomCBS network, which has been aggressively ramping up its scripted slate with shows including Cold Call and Penance.
The Drowning starts when Jodie, played by Liar's Halfpenny, catches sight of Daniel, played by newcomer Cody Molko, a teenage boy, she is convinced she has found her missing son. Whether she is right or not, in that moment her spark of hope is ignited and she commits to a dangerous and transgressive path that will take her to the edge of reason. How far will she go? How far would any of us go to find a missing child?
Since losing her son eight years ago, Jodie has been rebuilding her life but when she catches sight of Daniel it threatens to up-end the life that she has carefully pieced back together. Jonas Armstrong Ripper Street plays Jason, Jodie's only sibling, the only real support she has had in her life. Always in control, he is a practising lawyer, on the cusp of a huge promotion. Cranford's Deborah Findlay plays Lynn, Jodie’s mother, with whom she has a fractious relationship. Rupert Penry-Jones Stan Lee’s Lucky Man plays his father Mark, an architect that keeps a tight rein on his emotions and on his son’s life.
Filming will take place in Dublin and the four-part drama will transmit on Channel 5 later in 2020.
The Drowning is written by Tim Dynevor Emmerdale, directed by Carolina Giametta Vera and is produced by Mary McCarthy. The executive producers are Clarke and Maza, who work on Sky's Bulletproof, Alexandra Stone, and Catriona Mckenzie. It is created by Francesca Brill Cuckoo and Luke Watson Britannia. Sebastian Cardwell serves as the Commissioning Editor for Channel 5. It is produced by Clarke and Maza's Unstoppable Film & Television in association with All3Media International.
Clarke and Maza said, “We are delighted to be working with the hugely talented Jill Halfpenny, Jonas Armstrong and Rupert Penry Jones on The Drowning, which is being lead by the brilliant director, Carolina Giametta. Working with Carolina and our wonderful writer, Tim Dynevor, the creative process has been a joy. We could not be more excited to collaborate with Channel 5 to bring this story to the screen.”
Channel 5 Deputy Director of Programmes, ViacomCBS Networks International UK, Sebastian Cardwell added, “We are thrilled to be working with the team at Unstoppable on this exciting addition to Channel 5's ever growing drama slate. We hope that audiences will be gripped across the series.”
Social distancing continues this weekend amid the global pandemic, and several new TV seasons are here for the binging along with The Matrix Trilogy and The Social Network landing on Netflix. If nothing here suits your sensibilities, check out our guide to What You Should Watch On Streaming Right Now.
Coffee & Kareem Netflix film — The Office fans, rejoice! Ed Helms, Terrence Little Gardenhigh, and and Taraji P. Henson star in this action-comedy movie about an unlikely team-up between a 12-year-old kid and a cop. Helms and Henson's characters date, and the kid's not crazy about the couple, so he hires some fugitives to take out Coffee the Cop. That will get messy, especially after a criminal network gets involved. Yikes.
Tales From The Loop Amazon series — This surreal new series is a sci-fi dream based upon the digital paintings from Simon Stålenhag. The show revolves around an Ohio town situated above a mysterious machine, and Black Mirror fans might find this show to be a kinder, gentler, and more thoughtful option during these stressful times.
Harley Quinn: Season 2 DC Universe series — The animated streaming show is back, and still better than Birds Of Prey, with total anarchy in the streets of Gotham. Mr. J is gone, Batman is missing, and Harley must throttle the situation with her baseball bat while 1000 a-holes attempt to seize power. This series is so much fun, and it's also an economic watch, so jump into the pandemonium and embrace it.
Future Man: Season 3 Hulu — The Josh Hutcherson series takes a final bow with Josh, Tiger, and Wolf all on the run as fugitives. They're attempting to clear their names, naturally, as well as to fix history by sprinting through time.
Money Heist: Season 4 Netflix — The chaotic, cash-grifting series continues with explosions in Rio and Tokyo, as the gang endures its toughest times and an enemy within that could endanger the whole damn heist.
Here's the rest of this weekend's notable programming:
Charmed Friday, CW 8:00 p.m. — Parker joins up with the Charmed ones after a demon endangers Mel, all while Harry risks danger to infiltrate the Faction.
Dynasty Friday, CW 9:00 p.m. — Parenting turns out to be NBD for Fallon and Liam yeah, right while Sam and Kirby work on an opportunity together, and Alexis makes a recruit for a health matter.
Westworld Sunday, HBO 9:00 p.m. — The confusion continues as the third season of this series finds that the truth oesn't always set you free. Theories abound already, so get dive into the futuristic dystopia.
The Walking Dead Sunday, AMC 9:00 p.m. — The Whisperer War is coming to a head, which is strange because wars are usually named after their conclusion and by the winner. In the meantime, Princess meets up with Eugene's group, oh boy....
Even though most of the news these days is terrible, every now and then something good comes out of the coronavirus pandemic. In this case, since ESPN doesn’t have any new sports to air right now, they’ve bumped up the premiere of the 10-part Michael Jordan documentary series The Last Dance. Originally intended to arrive in June, the series will now begin in April, and a new trailer has just arrived. Check it out below and find out when you can start watching The Last Dance on ESPN.Final Michael Jordan Documentary Series Trailer
ESPN will begin airing The Last Dance on April 2 and will debut a new episode every Sunday night through May 17 the release was originally scheduled for June 23 in the United States0. The documentary will be available on Netflix for international viewers, though it’s not clear when it will be released worldwide yet.
In an official statement announcing the major schedule change, ESPN said:
“As society navigates this time without live sports, viewers are still looking to the sports world to escape and enjoy a collective experience. We’ve heard the calls from fans asking us to move up the release date for this series, and we’re happy to announce that we’ve been able to accelerate the production schedule to do just that. This project celebrates one of the greatest players and dynasties ever, and we hope it can serve as a unifying entertainment experience to fill the role that sports often play in our lives, telling a story that will captivate everyone, not just sports fans.”
The Last Dance focuses on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls as they make run for their sixth NBA championship in 1998. It would be the end of an era all over again after Jordan had previously retired from basketball in 1993 following a streak of three championships, only to return in 1995 and lead the Bulls to another trio of victories, earning themselves another three-peat. However, that final season was a grueling one for Jordan and his teammates.
But the series doesn’t just focus on that final season. Directed by Jason Hehir The Fab Five, The ’85 Bears, Andre the Giant, the documentary has an amazing collection of archival footage from the glory years of the Chicago Bulls roster throughout the 1990s. As it covers the team’s final championship season, we’ll also weave through Jordan’s life before joining the NBA, the team’s growth after his draft, and the team’s first championship, as well as all those that followed. Hehir said in ESPN’s press release:
“Michael Jordan and the ‘90s Bulls weren’t just sports superstars, they were a global phenomenon. Making ‘The Last Dance’ was an incredible opportunity to explore the extraordinary impact of one man and one team. For nearly three years, we searched far and wide...