The soon-to-be Paramount Network has handed out its first docuseries order.
The Viacom-owned cable network is teaming with Jay Z (real name Shawn Carter) and The Weinstein Co. for a docuseries about Trayvon Martin, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story is a six-part series based on the life and legacy of Martin, who was shot and killed at the age of 17 in Florida when a neighborhood watch member, George Zimmerman, wrongly believed he was armed. Zimmerman argued he shot Martin in self-defense and was later acquitted of second-degree murder, sparking worldwide outrage and protests across the country in what is now viewed as a major catalyst for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Rest in Power is based on two books: Lisa Bloom's Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It and Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin, by Martin's parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin.
"We are humbled and excited to embark upon this new beginning with Shawn Carter, Harvey, and Paramount. We know this means a lot to this country. We continue to tell our story in order to unite people," Fulton and Martin said. "We are very hopeful that this project will bring about a healthy and helpful conversation on the injustices that have divided society. That is also why we started the Trayvon Martin Foundation. We know as parents that the third act of our son's legacy is hope."
Fulton and Martin will exec produce with Carter, Harvey Weinstein, David C. Glasser, Chachi Senior, Jenner Furst, Nick Sandow, Julia Willoughby Nason and Michael Gasparro. Production begins later this year for a 2018 release. This marks the first unscripted series order for Paramount Network as it prepares to be rebranded from Spike TV next year.
"This is an important American story. We're honored that Trayvon's family has entrusted us to share the truth with the world," said Carter. "Thank you, again, to Paramount Network/Spike TV for being brave enough to partner with us and tell these complex narratives. It's through these conversations that we can begin to heal."
Added Weinstein: "From two brilliant books come an incredible portrait of another American injustice. Having this opportunity to reunite with Shawn Carter and Kevin Kay of Paramount Network is a career highlight for me."
This marks the latest collaboration among Carter, TWC and Viacom's cable portfolio. Their other six-part docuseries, TIME: The Kalief Browder Story, recently wrapped on Spike TV.
"I am thrilled to once again partner with the incredibly talented team of The Weinstein Company and Shawn Carter to take a comprehensive look beyond the headlines at the circumstances that caused Trayvon's senseless death and the movement born out of this tragedy," said Spike TV (soon-to-be Paramount Network) president Kevin Kay.
When it rebrands next year, Paramount Network's unscripted slate will include Spike TV series like Lip Sync Battle, Ink Master and Bar Rescue, as well as scripted originals like American Woman, a Heathers anthology series based on the film of the same name, and the Michael Shannon-Taylor Kitsch miniseries Waco, which also hails from The Weinstein Co.
Weinstein's other unscripted series include the Project Runway franchise and Models Inc. for Lifetime, as well as AMC's Geeking Out.