By Rick Porter
National Geographic has acquired documentarian Steve James' latest project, the Chicago-set City So Real.
The Disney-owned cable network will air the series, from Participant Media and Kartemquin Films, in the fall, it announced Monday at the virtual Television Critics Association press tour. Nat Geo also announced a Sharkfest special for 2021 starring Chris Hemsworth and a reteaming of Sigourney Weaver and James Cameron on a nature documentary.
Nat Geo acquired the series some six months after its debut at the Sundance Film Festival. It debuted as part of the festival's Indie Episodic program, as a four-part series chronicling Chicago's 2019 mayoral election, the trial of the police officer accused of killing teenager Laquan McDonald and other issues.
The National Geographic presentation will add a fifth episode focusing on the coronavirus pandemic and social justice protests that followed the May 25 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with the extraordinary Steve James and the team from Participant Media on City So Real, a profound and intimate portrait of life in every American city that could not be more timely,” said National Geographic Global Television Networks president Courteney Monroe. "We look forward to showcasing this ambitious and impactful documentary series, including Steve’s newly filmed fifth hour capturing the pandemic and the civil unrest gripping our nation." Read More.