Central Park Five becomes Netflix series

Another true crime series is getting the US drama treatment, with Netflix announced a 5 part limited series on The Central Park Five.

The 1989 case involved the violent assault, rape, and sodomy of Trisha Meili, a female jogger, in New York City’s Central Park. The attack left her in a coma for 12 days.

Five teenagers from Harlem were wrongly convicted of the crime. The series will focus each episode on one of the 5, from the spring of 1989, when they were first questioned about the incident, to 2014 when they were exonerated.

Creator Ava DuVernay (13TH, Queen Sugar) will write and direct the series, executive produced by Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King from Participant Media, Oprah Winfrey/Harpo Films, Jane Rosenthal and Berry Welsh from Tribeca Productions, and DuVernay.

“I had an extraordinary experience working with Netflix on 13TH and am overjoyed to continue this exploration of the criminal justice system as a narrative project with Cindy Holland and the team there,” said DuVernay. “The story of the men known as Central Park Five has riveted me for more than two decades. In their journey, we witness five innocent young men of color who were met with injustice at every turn – from coerced confessions to unjust incarceration to public calls for their execution by the man who would go on to be the President of the United States.”

“This is one of the most talked-about cases of our time and Ava’s passionate vision and masterful direction will bring the human stories behind the headlines to life in this series,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President, Original Content for Netflix. “After powerfully reframing the public conversation about criminality and injustice in 13TH, Ava now turns a new lens to a case that exposes deep flaws in our criminal justice system.”

Participant Media’s Jonathan King added, “It’s an honor to be partnering again with Ava, a uniquely tenacious and inspiring artist. The events of this shocking story continue to resonate today, and the way Ava has chosen to focus intimately on the five young men foregrounds the human costs of this kind of tragedy. We are looking forward to working with Netflix, Tribeca and Harpo on Participant’s first scripted episodic series.”

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