"Chicagoland" explores the challenges and triumphs of a beloved heartland American city, where a mayor, community organizers, business leaders, teachers, entertainers, and residents unite to make a difference in the lives of Chicagoans.
The series will explore where politics and policy meet real people's lives — in a city generating change and innovation in social policy, education, and public safety on the local level — to meet national and local challenges.
The vibrant, multidimensional character of the city is punctuated by the rich narration of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Mark Konkol. In his 19-year reporting career, Konkol brought his uniquely incisive reportage to covering Chicago's neighborhoods, City Hall, and the characters that dwell in them for the Chicago Sun-Times and later for DNAInfo.com. He infuses his strong, authentic sensibility to "Chicagoland."
This intimate series explores Mayor Rahm Emanuel's complex negotiations with the Chicago Public Schools, as he embarks on an historic schools consolidation plan in order to invest resources in modernizing the city. Viewers will also meet Fenger High School principal Elizabeth Dozier as she mentors her students and attempts to guide them towards making good life choices. Police superintendent Garry McCarthy works to keep the peace as the school districts are reshaped, and drills his officers in community policing to address a wave of violence that has captivated national headlines and threatens to rob the city of some of its most promising youth.
Among Chicago's celebrated citizens, the series introduces viewers to up-and-coming performer Chance the Rapper, entrepreneur Billy Dec, acclaimed chef/restaurateur Grant Achatz, child schools activist Asean Johnson, and Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis. Chicago Symphony Orchestra maestro Riccardo Muti, investment executive Mellody Hobson, the rapper Common, former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, and NBA stars Dwayne Wade and Isaiah Thomas offer their unforgettable perspectives on their beloved Chicago.
"Chicagoland" is executive produced by Robert Redford and Laura Michalchyshyn of Sundance Productions, and award-winning filmmakers Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin of BCTV.