The Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen-penned show, directed by Bob Balaban (the actor seen in "A Mighty Wind"), played 608 performances in its Off-Broadway run, which opened Oct. 10, 2002. The three collaborators also worked on the Court TV project, which will debut Jan. 27 at 9 PM. The work will reair Jan. 29 at 4 PM and Jan. 30 at 2 PM. (All times ET. Check your local listings.)
Drawn from interviews of 40 former death-row inmates by playwrights Blank and Jensen, The Exonerated explores the variety of experiences and feelings of those who spent from 2 to 22 years imprisoned only to later be found innocent and released.
The 95-minute feature was filmed completely in a New York studio in six days. The screen version will also include 43 actors playing family members, prosecutors, judges, detectives and defense attorneys involved with the six focal characters.
The stage production and its national tour raised over $710,000 in donations since its opening for the six exonerees, portrayed in the play, who received no remuneration after being released from prison. The work has garnered a number of awards including a Lucille Lortel Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Drama Desk Award. The play, which played originally in Los Angeles' Actors' Gang Theatre, is also set to play in London's West End.
Past cast members of the Off-Broadway run included Mary J. Blige, Eric Bogosian, Peter Boyle, Josh Brolin, Avery Brooks, Gabriel Byrne, Robert Carradine, Judy Collins, Tim Daly, Kristin Davis, Fran Drescher, Richard Dreyfuss, Cary Elwes, Mia Farrow, Peter Gallagher, Sara Gilbert, Jeff Goldblum, Tony Goldwyn, Mariska Hargitay, Anthony Michael Hall, Marcia Gay Harden, Anne Jackson, Sarah Jones, Carol Kane, Christine Lahti, Chad Lowe, Andrea Martin, Andrew McCarthy, Esai Morales, Alanis Morisette, Rob Morrow, Joe Morton, Bebe Neuwirth, Rhea Perlman, Amanda Plummer, Aidan Quinn, Lynn Redgrave, Eric Roberts, Richard Schiff, Kyra Sedgwick, Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields, John Spencer, Mary Steenburgen, Fisher Stevens, Susan St. James, Marlo Thomas, Kathleen Turner, Ben Vereen, Montel Williams and Debra Winger. Allan Buchman served as Executive Producer, Steven Tabakin and Greg Schultz served as Producers, with Karen Wolfe serving as Line Producer for the production by Court TV in association with Chicagofilms and @radical.media.
For more information on The Exonerated, visit the Court TV website at www.courttv.com.