Sundance Channel series aims to remake Newark, N.J.

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The WireSundance ChannelBrick City

Forest Whitaker, still hot from his Oscar for The Last King of Scotland, has emerged as the requisite celebrity backer of the series, though his role outside of a producer remains unclear (Reuters suggests a voice-over is a possibility). The series will be co-directed by Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin, and will pivot around a number of the ills the city faces, be it institutionalized corruption or environmental concerns.

The show, to be set over at least a year to follow the city’s progress over time, will debut toward the middle of 2009 with an initial order of six half-hour episodes.

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