American pay-TV channel FX has expanded its reach into non-fiction programming with the commissioning of one full-length documentary feature and five docuseries, including a five-part series on Tupac Shakur from Defiant Ones director Allen Hughes.
Anchoring FX’s push into the unscripted genre is Outlaw: The Saga of Afeni and Tupac Shakur from Emmy Award-nominated director Hughes in partnership with The Shakur Estate. The intimate, multi-part series is to explore the lives of hip hop legend Tupac Shakur and his activist mother, Afeni Shakur. Told by those who knew them best, Outlaw will examine the mother and son relationship they held as well as the unified message of freedom, equality, persecution and justice they attempted to push on the American public.
Elsewhere, Pride will serve as a six-part docuseries that will document the fight for LGBTQ civil rights in America over the last 60 years, with each episode directed by a different renowned LGBTQ director. The series is executive produced by Christine Vachon and Sydney Foos for Killer Films, and by Amy Emmerich, Stone Roberts and Alex Stapleton for Refinery29.
Additional factual projects headed to FX include the Blumhouse Television- and Wilshire Studios-produced A Wilderness of Error; Hip Hop Untold from Jonathan and Simon Chinn‘s Lightbox; and The Most Dangerous Animal of All from Academy Award-nominated director Kief Davidson.
The six-part A Wilderness of Error, based on Errol Morris’s novel of the same name, will chronicles the story of Army Surgeon Jeffrey MacDonald, who was convicted in 1979 of killing his pregnant wife and two daughters nine years earlier. Marc Smerling directs and executive produces the series alongside Jason Blum, Marci Wiseman, Jeremy Gold, Mary Lisio, Dawn Olmstead, Jessica Grimshaw, Rachel Horovitz and Michael Jackson. Brian Murphy is co-executive producer.
Meanwhile, the six-part Hip Hop Untold will tell the story of hip hop from the streets up, documenting a “dying breed of power brokers who operate from the shadows of hip hop.” The docuseries is executive produced by Lightbox’s Jonathan Chinn and Simon Chinn, alongside Eugene “Big U” Henley, Jimmy Chriss, Malcolm Spellman, Douglas Banker and Rashidi Natara Harper.
Based on Gary L. Stewart’s New York Times best-selling book of the same name, The Most Dangerous Animal of All serves as a four-part docuseries that explores Stewart’s search for his biological father, only to conclude that his father might be the notorious Zodiac Killer. The project is executive produced by Ross Dinerstein and Kief Davidson.
Finally, the network has greenlit the feature-length documentary Women in Comedy from director Andrea Nevins (Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie), which examines the changing landscape for women in stand-up comedy through in-depth interviews. The film is executive produced by Ross Dinerstein, Jim Serpico and Nevins, with Jessica Kirson serving as producer.
Air dates for all projects will be announced over the coming months.
The announcements were made as part of the network’s Television Critics Association summer press tour today (Aug. 6).
“FX has long sought to give artists a platform to showcase their individual, uncompromising vision and its new docuseries and features are an opportunity to extend that ambition in our collaboration with non-fiction talent,” said Nick Grad, co-president of original programming at FX Entertainment, in a statement. “It’s been tremendously rewarding to partner with The New York Times and Hulu on The Weekly, which has excelled creatively and is hitting series-high ratings. Under the guidance of FX’s Jonathan Frank and J.J. Klein, we are now honored to partner with these new teams to create docuseries and features that will join FX’s legacy of fearless and groundbreaking programming.”
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