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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Rod Blagojevich, Jenny Jones scandals get unpacked in new Netflix docuseries, Trial By Media

Illustration for article titled Rod Blagojevich, Jenny Jones scandals get unpacked in new Netflix docuseries, Trial By Media
Photo: Netflix

George Clooney and his producing partner, actor and writer Grant Heslov, are throwing their weight behind Trial By Media, a six-part Netflix docuseries about the media’s role in amplifying public perception of memorable criminal trials. Like the streamer’s excellent Dirty Money docuseries, Trial By Media doles out episodes to a number of rising directors, including Abducted In Plain Sight’s Skye Borgman, American Vandal’s Tony Yacenda, and Academy Award nominee Yance Ford.

As you can see in the above trailer, the series will unpack the media’s role in the trials around the Jenny Jones talk show murders, the Rod Blagojevich political scandal, and the case of an unarmed African immigrant who was shot 41 times by New York City cops in 1999.


In a statement, Clooney and Heslov give ample credit to seasoned journalists Jeffrey Toobin and Steven Brill, who serve as executive producers on the series:

Jeffrey Toobin and Steve Brill are two of the smartest legal journalists in the game, and as chroniclers and analysts, their knowledge of the US trial system is unparalleled. In the beginning stages of this project, we discussed that trials in the US play out like theater, and we were all interested in exploring the media’s profound influence over that process. The goal was to create a series that was not only entertaining, but also shed some insight into the whole messy business of our trial system. Along with our partners at Supper Club and six terrific directors, we tell the stories of six diverse and wild cases whose issues and themes resonate even more strongly today.

Trial By Media’s six episodes land on Netflix on May 11. See a full list of episodes and their directors below:

Episode One: Talk Show Murder

Case: The Jenny Jones Show Case

Directed by: Peabody Award winner Tony Yacenda (American Vandal)

Episode 2: Subway Vigilante

Case: The People of the State of New York v. Bernhard Goetz

Directed by: Skye Borgman (Abducted in Plain Sight)

Episode 3: 41 Shots

Case: Amadou Diallo

Directed by: Sundance Documentary Directing Prize Winner Garrett Bradley (Time)

Episode 4: King Richard

Case: United States of America v. Richard M Scrushy

Directed by: Emmy Award nominee Brian McGinn (Amanda Knox)

Episode 5: Big Dan’s

Case: Big Dan’s Tavern

Directed by: Sierra Pettengill (The Reagan Show)

Episode 6: Blago!

Case: Rod Blagojevich

Directed by: Academy Award nominee Yance Ford (Strong Island)

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.