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Robert Redford joins with CNN for 'Chicagoland' TV series

It may seem a little redundant, CNN’s idea of making a reality show starring Chicago.

But it will be, at minimum, interesting to see what stories Robert Redford’s Sundance Productions puts together for the just-announced “Chicagoland,” an eight-part, eight-hour “docuseries” shooting now to air in 2014.

The series, made by some of the same people who made “Brick City,” about Newark, NJ, for Sundance Channel, promises to look at the scope of civic life, especially as it intersects with politics and policy.

One of the attractions to Chicago, CNN made clear, is the president being from here and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s high profile.

But it sounds as though viewers should be alert for hagiography. “Much of (the challenge in Chicago) falls on the shoulders of its tough, visionary mayor, his team and people doing heroic work in neighborhoods throughout the city,” Redford said in a statement.

The series is part of an effort by new CNN chief Jeff Zucker (formerly of NBC) to revamp the newschannel’s lineup and boost sagging ratings.

--Steve Johnson

 

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