The Chicago-set CBS drama details the aftermath of the police killing of an unarmed Black man. The slain man's husband Daniel (Noah Wyle) must help the pair's daughter Jira (Aliyah Royale) grieve this loss. The show also explores the perspective of police officer Paul (Noel Fisher), who is forced to grapple with why he was so quick to pull the trigger in the first place.
In addition, the series weaves in the story of Tia (Emayatzy Corinealdi, who starred in DuVernay's Middle of Nowhere), a politician who is also Jira's biological mother. How will Tia make the streets of Chicago safer, especially now that she is raising a child herself?
The Red Line comes to CBS at the right time. The network has come under fire in recent years for its lack of diversity in scripted programming. Not only does the series feature people of color in lead roles, it also hails from a woman who has a history of showcasing Black voices and issues. (DuVernay notably hired exclusively women directors for her show Queen Sugar.)
DuVernay's 2012 film Middle of Nowhere illuminated the mass incarceration of Black people in the United States through the eyes of the woman left behind. Her documentary 13th examined the connection between the end of slavery and the for-profit prison system. Her upcoming scripted Netflix series The Central Park 5 tells the story of the five young boys of color falsely imprisoned for an assault they did not commit and the racist media circus that surrounded them.
The Red Line will debut on CBS on April 28, 2019. Watch the full trailer, below.
The Red Line heads to CBS this spring.