Premium TV network EPIX announced today at the NATPE Conference in Miami the launch of what it calls an ambitious new original documentary series on inequality, titled "America Divided."
Executive produced by Norman Lear, Common and Shonda Rhimes, and produced by Divided Films in association with RadicalMedia, "America Divided" is created by Solly Granatstein, Lucian Read, and Richard Rowley. The series will uncover dramatic untold stories illustrating how record levels of inequality are undermining the American dream.
"America Divided" will feature high-profile correspondents exploring aspects of inequality related to their own biographies. Common returns to his hometown of Chicago – ground zero for disparities in the criminal justice system. America Ferrera travels to Texas to witness battles around access to the ballot and healthcare for poor women. Zach Galifianakis investigates the political landscape in his home state of North Carolina and considers how it’s emblematic of the country’s deepening political divide during the 2016 campaign. Norman Lear reports on the housing crisis in New York – from people who have no homes, to luxury apartments purposely kept vacant. Amy Poehler witnesses the complex challenges faced by domestic workers who maintain an intimate relationship with the families that employ them while also struggling for better conditions. Peter Sarsgaard explores the addiction crisis ravaging a heartland beset by unemployment and the shuttering of America’s factories. And Jesse Williams goes back to the classroom and becomes immersed in the battle to fix inequality in education.
“Addressing the ramifications of inequality, is hugely important to me,” said executive producer and correspondent Common. “The more we explore the subject and build a dialog around the issues, the more we can do to create change.”
“Foremost among the Founding Fathers’ promises was equality under the law,” reflected Norman Lear, who is also serving as an executive producer and correspondent. “It’s up to us to help them keep their promise."
“The promise of the American dream was a united country where everyone is treated equal,” said executive producer Shonda Rhimes. “That promise has clearly been broken; all you have to do is look around to see that our reality has been built on the back of inequality. It’s my hope that this series will inspire audiences to be part of a change that leads us into a stronger, more equal future.”
"America Divided" will make its World Television Premiere on EPIX in Fall 2016 in the run-up to the presidential election.
“EPIX is committed to presenting thought-provoking documentaries that deal head-on with hot-button topics that affect our society,” said Mark S. Greenberg, CEO & President of EPIX. “’America Divided’ is a nonpartisan investigation of the key issues shaping the presidential campaign, and we are confident our viewers will find each episode compelling and accessible.”
“This series cuts to the heart of the inequality crisis, exploring life-and-death struggles around the economic, social and political divide,” said the show creators. “Our aim is to expose the damage extreme inequality inflicts on all Americans, reveal its systemic causes, and celebrate real-world heroes fighting for solutions.”