“The Red Line,” an eight-episode limited series about three Chicago families dealing with a fatal officer-involved shooting, premieres at 8 p.m. Sunday evening on CBS.
The series stars “ER” alumnus Noah Wyle as a white high school teacher mourning the death of his black husband, Dr. Harrison Brennan (Corey Reynolds), who was killed when a police officer mistook him for a robber.
Brennan’s death prompts his adopted black daughter Jira Calder-Brennan (Aliyah Royale) to begin searching for her birth mother Tia Young (Emayatzy Corinealdi), who is considering running for City Council.
“The Red Line” also tells the story of white Chicago Police Department Officer Paul Evans (Noel Fisher), who fatally shot Brennan.
The title stems from the nearly 25-mile elevated train line running from Chicago’s North Side to South Side. It “stands as a metaphor for the city’s contrast, a diverse but segregated American city with huge potential for connection,” said Ava DuVernay, the prominent film director who is one of the show’s executive producers.
“The moniker speaks to Chicago as an American microcosm, two parts of a city divided by a red line.”
Executive producers also include Greg Berlanti, executive producer of such series as “Supergirl,” “Riverdale,” “All American” and “Black Lightning” on The CW and “God Friended Me,” on CBS.
“The Red Line” will air in two-hour installments over four consecutive Sundays.
The series is adapted from a play Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss wrote 10 years ago. They wrote Sunday night’s episode.
“Caitlin and I love a story that has a micro and a macro,” Weiss, a co-producer, told City News Service. “For us, a family drama set against a bigger picture, like a city, has always been really compelling. That was the original conceit of the play as well.”
CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl said the network’s executives “were moved by the emotions” and the acting.
“This is a story that’s very relevant (to) what’s going on in the country these days and thought it was a story that deserved to be told,” Kahl said at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour.
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