Sundance TV has greenlit three docuseries, including one of which will be executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio.
From Appian Way and Emmy Award-winning Stephen David Entertainment, The Road to Jonestown (w/t) will air this November to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the massacre that claimed the lives of 900 people.
The series, from executive producers DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson of Appian Way, as well as author Jeff Guinn and Stephen David of Stephen David Entertainment, is based on the best-selling book by Guinn.
The series will show how Jim Jones transformed from a charismatic preacher and champion of civil rights into an egomaniacal demagogue who led the biggest mass suicide in American history. Never-before-seen archival footage, unreleased photographs, personal letters and previously classified documents, as well as interviews with survivors and Jones family members who have not previously spoken on the record, will aim to uncover Jones’ motives.
Looking to expand in the true crime space, Sundance TV also greenlit Ministry of Evil: The Twisted Cult of Tony Alamo from Emmy Award-winners Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato and Peacock Productions, and The Preppie Murder (w/t) with Emmy Award- winner Robert Friedman’s Bungalow Media + Entertainment and the original prosecutor in the case, Linda Fairstein.
Each series will examine an infamous crime while delving into its lingering impact on victims, American society and popular culture.
Ministry of Evil: The Twisted Cult of Tony Alamo chronicles Tony Alamo and his wife, Susan Alamo. The pair launched The Tony and Susan Alamo Christian Foundation in 1969, which soon evolved into a cult that is said to still operate today. Together, they skirted the law and enforced a code of silence on their followers and came to hold great power and wealth on the backs of their believers.
From executive producers and World of Wonder co-founders Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, and Elizabeth Fischer and Leslie Mattingly of Peacock Productions, the series is currently in production. It will explore the cultural impact of the couple’s empire, featuring archival footage, including an exclusive videotape deposition with Alamo himself. It will also weave together interviews with the FBI agent who took him down and those who survived his cult and have never shared their stories.
Sundance TV is also in pre-production on The Preppie Murder (w/t), a multi-part docuseries that reexamines the brutal murder of Jennifer Levin in Central Park in 1986. The series features the case’s prosecutor, Linda Fairstein, to expose evidence that was inadmissible in the trial and will also examine the circumstances that led to how the story unfolded.
The series is produced by Bungalow Media + Entertainment with executive producer Robert Friedman.