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

In what sounds like a non-fiction answer to The Wire, the Sundance Channel will produce Brick City, a docu-series set to explore the issues facing Newark, N.J. through first-hand access to citizens, local officials and the city itself.

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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