TCA16: Jake Gyllenhaal, A&E Studios to Develop Anthology Series

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PASADENA, Calif.--A&E will team with actor Jake Gyllenhaal to develop an anthology series that will look at American cults, the company announced Wednesday at the Television Critics Association press tour.

The inaugural season of the series -- executive produced by Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker (Beasts of No NationThe Kids Are All Right) and produced by their company Nine Stories Productions in association with A+E Studios – will focus on Jim Jones and his cult The Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ, said the network.

“Riva and I founded Nine Stories to push creative limits, and have found a wonderful partner in A&E with this fascinating series,” said Gyllenhaal in a statement. “Jim Jones is a complex character – one who has found his way into the collective unconscious.  We want to focus on the undeniable magnatism of zealots and the danger of that kind of charisma. A notion not only pertinent to cult leaders but to the geo-political climate of today."

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.