The New York Times’ 1619 Project is set to be adapted across a range of platforms, including film and TV, through a new partnership with Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate.
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and New York Times Magazine staff writer Nikole Hannah-Jones will serve as creative leader and producer for the new projects, including films, television series, documentaries, unscripted programming and more.
Hannah-Jones was responsible for the 1619 Project issue of the Times Magazine.
“We took very seriously our duty to find TV and film partners that would respect and honor the work and mission of The 1619 Project, that understood our vision and deep moral obligation to doing justice to these stories,” Hannah-Jones stated. “I am excited for this opportunity to extend the breadth and reach of The 1619 Project and to introduce these stories of Black resistance and resilience to even more American households.”
Caitlin Roper, who served as an editor on The 1619 Project and heads scripted entertainment at The Times, is also set to produce.
Winfrey will serve as a producer and guide the development and production of the 1619 Project expansions.
“Since the publication of The 1619 Project last year, we have been searching for the right partners to expand the reach of its message into film and television, while preserving the authenticity of its voice,” stated Sam Dolnick, TheNew York Times assistant managing editor.
Dolnick continued: “We believe that Lionsgate and Oprah Winfrey are the perfect combination of partners who understand the editorial integrity of The Times and the gravity of The 1619 Project’s message, and have the reach, resources, compassion, and talent relationships to join with us and with Nikole in producing films, television, and other programming for a global audience that do justice to the project.”
The 1619 Project was published in August of last year on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to what would become the U.S. The project explores slavery’s legacy, examining how it shaped American culture.
Since its release, the project has been tapped by Random House for a multi-book publishing deal spanning many audiences, with a book-length version of the 1619 Project issue to be released, in addition to four books for younger readers and two visual editions.