Paramount, Jay Z, Weinstein Company Team on Trayvon Martin Doc


Paramount Network, which will launch in January 2018, has joined forces with Shawn Carter (Jay Z) and The Weinstein Company for the docuseries Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, based on the life and legacy of the slain teen.

The six-part event series will go into production later this year and is slated to premiere on Paramount Network in 2018. Martin was an unarmed 17-year-old high school student who was shot and killed by neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman in the Florida community where they both lived. Zimmerman was acquitted on a second-degree murder charge after claiming he shot Martin in self-defense. The series will be based on two books: Lisa Bloom’s Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It, and Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin, written by Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin.

Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story marks the first new non-scripted series for Paramount Network, which is rebranding from its current name, Spike TV. The series is the second partnership between Carter, The Weinstein Company and Paramount Network/Spike TV and The Cinemart, which teamed up for the critically-acclaimed series TIME: The Kalief Browder Story.

“We are humbled and excited to embark upon this new beginning with Shawn Carter, Harvey [Weinstein] and Paramount,” said Fulton and Martin. “We know this means a lot to this country. We continue to tell our story in order to unite people. We are very hopeful that this project will bring about a healthy and helpful conversation on the injustices that have divided society. That is also why we started the Trayvon Martin Foundation. We know as parents that the third act of our son’s legacy is hope.”

“This is an important American story,” said Carter. “We’re honored that Trayvon’s family has entrusted us to share the truth with the world. Thank you, again, to Paramount Network/Spike TV for being brave enough to partner with us and tell these complex narratives. It’s through these conversations that we can begin to heal.”

“From two brilliant books comes an incredible portrait of another American injustice,” said Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company. “Having this opportunity to reunite with Shawn Carter and Kevin Kay of Paramount Network is a career highlight for me.”

“I am thrilled to once again [to] partner with the incredibly talented team of The Weinstein Company and Shawn Carter to take a comprehensive look beyond the headlines at the circumstances that caused Trayvon’s senseless death and the movement born out of this tragedy,” said Kevin Kay, the president Spike TV (Paramount Network), TV Land and CMT.

“I am proud to help get these extremely important stories out there,” said Chachi Senior, the senior VP of original programming at Spike TV (Paramount Network). “Our hope is to continue to inspire change and reform the way we are doing with Kalief’s story.”

Executive producers for the series include Carter, Weinstein, David C. Glasser, Senior, Fulton, Martin, Jenner Furst, Nick Sandow, Julia Willoughby Nason and Michael Gasparro.