HBO AND SKY ANNOUNCE DOCUMENTARY SERIES THE CASE AGAINST ADNAN SYED, DIRECTED BY ACADEMY AWARD® NOMINEE AMY BERG
HBO and Sky today announced THE CASE AGAINST ADNAN SYED, a four-hour documentary series directed by Academy Award® nominee Amy Berg (“Deliver Us from Evil,” “West of Memphis”). The series will explore the 1999 disappearance and murder of 18-year-old Baltimore County high school student Hae Min Lee, and the subsequent conviction of her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, a case brought to global attention by the hugely popular “Serial” podcast. Working Title TV, NBCUniversal International Studios and Instinct Productions are producing the follow-up to the case, which will debut on HBO in the U.S. and on Sky Atlantic in Europe.
In production since 2015, THE CASE AGAINST ADNAN SYED closely re-examines the events leading up to Hae Min Lee’s disappearance, from high school romance, forbidden love and cultural conflict, to the aftermath of her disappearance, the original police investigation and the present day, when Syed awaits a new trial. Presenting new discoveries, as well as groundbreaking revelations that challenge the state’s case, and featuring exclusive access to Syed, the defense team, the Syed family, friends and teachers of Hae Min Lee and Adnan Syed, and members of City of Baltimore law enforcement, the series traces how the rush to justice and Syed’s conviction in 2000 raised more questions than answers about what happened to Hae Min Lee, underscoring the instability of memory and conflicting eyewitnesses.
In June 2016, Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Martin P. Welch vacated Adnan Syed’s conviction and granted him a new trial after new evidence challenged the reliability of cell phone data linking Syed to the crime scene, and a long-awaited alibi witness finally had her day in court. The State of Maryland appealed the lower court judge’s ruling, but on March 29, 2018, the Court of Special Appeals also ruled to vacate Syed’s conviction and granted him the retrial he has been waiting for.
THE CASE AGAINST ADNAN SYED is produced by Working Title TV, NBCUniversal International Studios and Instinct Productions and was commissioned by HBO Documentary Films and Sky Atlantic. Executive producers, Henrietta Conrad and Jemima Khan for Instinct Productions and Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan and Andrew Stearn for Working Title TV. The series will be distributed internationally by NBC Universal International Distribution.
Original Music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.
THE CASE AGAINST ADNAN SYED will offer a cinematic look at the life and 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee and conviction of Adnan Syed, from the genesis of their high school relationship, to the original police investigation and trial, through to the current day, when Syed faces a new trial after serving 18 years in jail. With exclusive access to Adnan Syed, his family and his lawyers, director Amy Berg has been closely following their efforts to obtain justice, with the outcome still to be determined — and possibly shaped by the investigation pursued within the series itself.
HBO® is one of the most respected and innovative entertainment brands in the world, serving iconic, award-winning programming to 142 million subscribers globally. A subsidiary of Time Warner, Inc., HBO is the world’s most successful pay TV service with an extensive array of programming that includes some of the most notable titles to be on television including Game of Thrones®, Big Little Lies®, Westworld®, The Sopranos®, Sex and the City®, Band of Brothers®, and The Wire®. In the United States, HBO and sister network Cinemax® are available across multiple platforms including HBO On Demand®, Cinemax On Demand®, HBO GO® and MAX GO®, as well as HBO NOW®. Internationally, HBO branded services, including television networks and the standalone streaming product HBO GO, are available in more than 70 countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. HBO and Cinemax programming is also sold into more than 150 countries worldwide.
Sky is Europe’s leading entertainment company, serving 22.5 million customers across seven countries — UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. The company has annual revenues of £12.9 billion and is Europe’s leading investor in television content with annual programming spend of over £6 billion.
From exclusive partnerships with HBO and Showtime, to Sky Original Productions, Sky offers the best and broadest range of content along with the best viewing experience to suit each and every customer. Whether that’s through the multi-award winning next generation box, Sky Q, or Sky’s contract-free online streaming service, NOW TV, customers have access to the latest movies, drama, sports and kids entertainment wherever and whenever they like. This is all supported by Sky’s best in class customer service.
Sky’s success is not just based on what the company does but how it does it. Named as one of the Top 10 Green Companies in the World by Newsweek, one of the world’s most recognised rankings of business’s environmental performance, Sky ensures its responsible business strategy is embedded right across the group.
Sky has over 31,000 employees and is listed as one of The Times Top 50 employers for women. Sky is listed on the London Stock Exchange (SKY).
ABOUT WORKING TITLE TELEVISION
Working Title TV is the television division of Working Title Films. With 14 Academy Awards and more than $7.5 billion dollars in global box office, the company is one of the most prolific and successful production companies in the industry. On the big screen, Working Title recently released the critically praised and Oscar-winning film Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill.
Producer of BBC Two/BBC America’s spy thriller, London Spy and Sky One/NBC’s comedy-drama, You Me and the Apocalypse, Working Title Television is a leading scripted production company with offices in London and LA. Specializing in high-quality scripted productions, Working Title Television’s previous titles include Mary & Martha, written by Richard Curtis, directed by Phillip Noyce and starring Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn; the critically acclaimed and BAFTA-winning Birdsong starring Eddie Redmayne and adapted by Abi Morgan; and BBC One’s hit Christmas film The Borrowers.
The company’s other credits include, psycho-drama Gypsy for Netflix; Sky One’s fantasy-comedy Yonderland; BBC One’s True Love and The Secrets and NBC’s About a Boy. In the U.K., the business is currently developing Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel, The Luminaries, for BBC2, and is partnering with NBCUniversal International Studios on a television remake of Hanna for Amazon Studios.
Working Title is currently in production on a 10 part series of Tales of the City for Netflix.
Working Title Television is a joint venture between NBCUniversal International Studios, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.
ABOUT INSTINCT PRODUCTIONS
Instinct Productions is a London based content company founded by Jemima Khan and Henrietta Conrad specialising in high quality TV drama, documentaries and film.
Henrietta Conrad founded Princess Productions in 1997 and later became Chairman of Shine UK, (which included Princess, Shine TV, Dragonfly and Kudos) overseeing hundreds of hours of programming from Got To Dance to Masterchef.
Jemima Khan was European Editor-at-Large of Vanity Fair and Associate Editor of The New Statesman. She was Executive Producer of the BAFTA- nominated documentary film We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks by Alex Gibney & co-produced Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars & Making A Killing: Guns, Greed and the NRA.
ABOUT DISARMING FILMS
Founded by Amy Berg in 2006, Disarming Films is a full service film and documentary production company that creates films focusing on issues of social importance. Disarming Films has produced the Academy Award nominated “Deliver Us From Evil,” “West of Memphis,” “Prophets Prey,” and “Janis: Little Girl Blue.”
Disarming has collaborated with multiple partners such as Working Title Films, Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate Entertainment, Anonymous Content, Jigsaw Productions, SONY Music, SONY Classics, Netflix, HBO, and Showtime.
With a wide international scope, all of Disarming Films productions have been critically acclaimed and have garnered both theatrical and broadcast distribution.
Berg and Disarming Films are represented by CAA.