FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SUNDANCE TV CONTINUES ITS EXPLORATION OF TRUE CRIME BY PARTNERING WITH AWARD-WINNING TALENT AND GREENLIGHTING THREE NEW DOCUSERIES
“The Road to Jonestown” (w/t) from Executive Producers Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson of Appian Way and Executive Producer Stephen David of Emmy Award®-Winning Stephen David Entertainment Will Air Timed to the 40th Anniversary of the Massacre
“Ministry of Evil: The Twisted Cult of Tony Alamo” Is in Production with Emmy Award®- Winners Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato and Peacock Productions
“The Preppie Murder” (w/t) Begins Pre-Production with Emmy Award®- Winning Producer Robert Friedman, Bungalow Media + Entertainment Alongside the Case’s Original Prosecutor Linda Fairstein
NEW YORK, NY – SundanceTV today announced the continuation of its exploration of true crime with the greenlight of three new docuseries: “The Road to Jonestown” (w/t) from Appian Way and Emmy Award®-winning Stephen David Entertainment; “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. The first of these docuseries, “The Road to Jonestown” (w/t), will air timed to the 40th Anniversary of the massacre this November.
With top tier talent behind the camera, each multi-part series will examine an infamous crime, delving into the crime itself and the lasting effect of these stories on the victims, American society and popular culture.
“Our smart and thoughtful explorations of true crime have been enormously popular with viewers of both the SundanceTV linear network and our Sundance Now streaming service, starting with the Peabody Award-winning documentary series ‘The Staircase,’ and, most recently, Joe Berlinger’s critically acclaimed, ‘Cold Blooded: The Clutter Family Murders,’” said Jan Diedrichsen, General Manager, SundanceTV and Sundance Now. “Continuing to leverage our success with this kind of content makes sense and is organic to the brand. We are excited to expand our partnerships with top tier talent to provide an in-depth exploration of the motives and cultural consequences of some of the most notorious crimes in recent American history.”
The first docuseries, “The Road to Jonestown” (w/t) from executive producers Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson of Appian Way, as well as author Jeff Guinn, and Stephen David of Stephen David Entertainment (“The Men Who Built America,” “Making of the Mob”), “Road to Jonestown” is based on the best-selling book by investigative journalist Jeff Guinn. Phillip Watson, Michael Hampton and Stephen David helped to shepherd the project.
The story will air this year on SundanceTV in conjunction with the 40th Anniversary of the Jonestown massacre that claimed the lives of more than 900 people. The series will paint a picture of Jim Jones’ transformation from charismatic preacher and champion of civil rights into egomaniacal demagogue who led the biggest mass suicide in American history. Never-before-seen archival footage – including secret FBI and CIA recordings, unreleased photographs, personal letters and previously classified documents – as well as new interviews with survivors and Jones family members who have not previously spoken on the record, will attempt to answer the questions how? and why?
“Ministry of Evil: The Twisted Cult of Tony Alamo” executive produced by Emmy Award®-winners and World of Wonder co-founders Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato (Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, Inside Deep Throat), and Elizabeth Fischer and Leslie Mattingly of Peacock Productions, chronicles the life and crimes of Tony Alamo, who, with his wife, Susan Alamo, became a born-again, fire-and-brimstone televangelist. The two launched The Tony and Susan Alamo Christian Foundation in 1969, which soon evolved into a cult that is said to still operate today. Together, by skirting the law and enforcing a code of silence among their followers, the Alamos came to wield unimaginable power, becoming millionaires on the backs of their believers. When Susan Alamo died in 1982, Tony continued getting away with heinous cruelty that included child abuse, polygamy and pedophilia. The series, which is currently in production, will explore the cultural consequences of the Alamo empire and feature rarely-seen archival footage, including an exclusive videotaped deposition with Alamo himself. It will also weave together interviews with the FBI agent who took Alamo down as well as cult survivors who have never previously shared their stories.
SundanceTV is also in pre-production on “The Preppie Murder” (w/t), a multi-part docuseries that reexamines one of the most infamous crimes in recent American history: the brutal murder of Jennifer Levin in Central Park in 1986. Working closely with the case’s prosecutor, Linda Fairstein, the series will expose evidence that was inadmissible in the trial and will also examine the circumstances that made the story unfold the way it did: America’s untamed ambition in the mid-1980s, the rarified lifestyle of New York’s Upper East Side, sexism, elitism, an all-out tabloid media war that blamed the victim and an imperfect justice system. The series is produced by Bungalow Media + Entertainment with executive producer Robert Friedman.
Since its launch in 1996, SundanceTV has remained true to founder Robert Redford’s mission to celebrate creativity and distinctive storytelling through unique voices and narratives found in the best independent films. From delivering critically acclaimed Emmy®, Golden Globe® and Peabody Award-winning television featuring some of the world's most talented creators and performers, to showcasing some of the most compelling and iconic films across genres and generations, SundanceTV is a smart and thought-provoking entertainment destination. SundanceTV is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.; its sister networks include AMC, IFC, BBC America and WE tv. SundanceTV is available across all platforms, including on-air, online at www.sundance.tv, on demand and mobile.
About Stephen David Entertainment
Stephen David Entertainment (SDE) – a Banijay Group Company – is an Emmy® Award-winning, New York-based production company. SDE counts “The Men Who Built America” (History), “The World Wars” (History) and “The Making of the Mob” (AMC) among its popular, hybrid documentary series. In the six years since its inception, SDE has developed numerous docudrama mini-series and select scripted projects, utilizing high-end production techniques and cutting-edge VFX. In 2015, the company’s scripted mini-series “Sons of Liberty” aired on History Channel, delivering stellar ratings and critical acclaim, including a WGA award nomination. In 2016, SDE debuted its first series with Netflix, “Roman Empire: Reign of Blood” and in 2017, SDE debuted its first series with Amazon “American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story” a 10-hour hybrid series produced in partnership with Hugh Hefner and Playboy.
About Appian Way
Appian Way Productions is a Los Angeles-based film and television production company founded by Leonardo DiCaprio. Jennifer Davisson serves as president of production. Since its launch, Appian Way has released a diverse slate of films, including Alejandro Iñárritu’s three-time Academy Award® and Golden Globe® winner “The Revenant,” Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award®- and Golden Globe®- nominated “The Wolf of Wall Street” and Academy Award®-nominated and Golden Globe®-winning “The Aviator,” along with “Shutter Island,” Scott Cooper’s “Out of the Furnace,” George Clooney’s Golden Globe®-nominated “The Ides of March,” the psychological thriller “Orphan” and the film adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s critically acclaimed novel “Live by Night” with Ben Affleck, among others.
About Fenton-Bailey and Randy Barbato
Emmy® winners Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato launched their production company World of Wonder in 1991, producing and directing features and series together as creative and business partners.
They have co-directed/produced over a dozen feature documentaries together including critically acclaimed films The Eyes Of Tammy Faye, Monica In Black and White, Wishful Drinking, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Inside Deep Throat, Becoming Chaz, Mapplethorpe: Look At The Pictures and Every Brilliant Thing. Their collaboration has resulted in the creation of dozens of original television series including RuPaul's Drag Race, Million Dollar Listings, & Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce.
About Peacock Productions
Peacock Productions, a division of NBC News, is a nonfiction production company that combines the editorial expertise, vast resources and seasoned talent of NBCUniversal to create series, documentaries and special events. Known for its compelling storytelling and versatility, Peacock Productions reaches more than 300 million people worldwide every year across broadcast, cable, syndication, and emerging platforms with its award-winning and highly-rated programming.
About Bungalow Media + Entertainment
Founded by CEO Robert Friedman, a thirty-year veteran of the entertainment business including MTV, New Line Cinema, AOL and @radical.Media, Bungalow Media + Entertainment is an integrated entertainment company that develops, produces, and distributes content across all media platforms–television, film, live events, and digital media. Bungalow sits comfortably at the nexus point between television & digital networks, creative talent, and brands.
Most recently, Bungalow produced and is currently producing a wide array of unscripted & scripted TV series, feature films, docs and digital content. They include the Emmy® Award winning “GIVE” on NBC, Fox’s “APB,” “Big Bad BBQ Brawl” on Cooking Channel, PBS’s “Landmarks Live in Concert,” NBC Sports “World Series of Beach Volleyball,” Travel Channel’s “36 Hours,” and Amazon’s comedy “Highston.” Docs and features include Showtime’s Spring Broke, the theatrical doc We the People: The Market Basket Effect and The Confirmation starring Clive Owen.
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Sarah Chaikin Denielle Webb