Docs

Paramount Network adds three installments to “I Am” franchise

Viacom-owned pay-TV channel Paramount Network has bolstered its 2019 slate with its I Am documentary franchise. Produced by Derik Murray‘s Network Entertainment, the franchise will comprise three new chapters featuring Richard Pryor, Jacqueline ...
February 7, 2019

Viacom-owned pay-TV channel Paramount Network has bolstered its 2019 slate with its I Am documentary franchise.

Produced by Derik Murray‘s Network Entertainment, the franchise will comprise three new chapters featuring Richard Pryor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Patrick Swayze.

Anchoring the three installments for 2019 will be I Am Richard Pryor. Directed by Jesse James Miller, the project will document the life and career of the seminal comedian who lifted himself out of poverty to achieve worldwide success.

From his first comedy album until his death of a heart attack in 2005, the film includes exclusive interviews with comedians, filmmakers, family and friends, including Sandra Bernhard, Ron De Blasio, Dr. Todd Boyd, Michael Epps, Tiffany Haddish, Henry Jaglom, Howie Mandel, Thom Mount, Ishmael Reed, Scott Saul, Michael Schultz, Greg Tate, Lily Tomlin, Rocco Urbisci, Jimmie Walker and widow Jennifer Pryor.

I Am Richard Pryor will mark its world premiere at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival on March 12. The film will then make its television debut three days later on Paramount Network on March 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

I Am Richard Pryor is executive produced by Paul Gertz, Kent Wingerak, and Richard Pryor’s widow, Jennifer Pryor. Paramount Network’s Jaimee Kosanke also serves as executive producer.

Premiere dates for I Am Jackie O and I Am Patrick Swayze will be announced at a later date.

I Am Richard Pryor was made possible by Jennifer Pryor’s resolute conviction to tell Richard’s story with a foundation of truth and respect for his massive legacy,” said Network Entertainment founder and producer Derik Murray in a statement. “Alongside Jennifer’s revealing interview, we have assembled a brilliant cast that blows open the door on a complex and gifted artist whose profound impact lives on.

“We are committed to delivering an authentic and entertaining portrayal of each of the icons we are honored to portray in our ongoing I Am series of documentary features. Every one of our iconic subjects has made their personal mark on history, and along the way has captured the hearts and minds of audiences and fans around the world.”

The three projects now join past installments in the franchise, that have included John F. Kennedy Jr., Martin Luther King Jr., Bruce Lee, Steve McQueen, Evel Knievel, Heath Ledger, Paul Walker, Sam Kinison, and Chris Farley.

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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