When They See Us

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When They See Us
Created byAva DuVernay
Written by
Directed byAva DuVernay
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)
CinematographyBradford Young
Camera setupSingle-camera
Production company(s)
Original networkNetflix
External links
Official website

When They See Us is an upcoming American drama web television miniseries created by Ava DuVernay for Netflix. DuVernay also serves as a co-writer for the series, and is expected to direct every episode. The series documents the Central Park jogger case from 1989 in which a jogger was attacked and raped in Central Park in New York City. Five juvenile males – four African American and one Hispanic – were subsequently convicted of the crime before being their convictions were vacated in 2002.

The series features a cast including Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Chris Chalk, Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Famke Janssen, Niecy Nash, Reece Noi,Aunjanue Ellis, Kylie Bunbury, and Storm Reid. It is set to premiere on May 31, 2019.


When They See Us extends from 1989 when five Harlem teens were “convicted first in the media and then twice in the courts for the brutal rape of a jogger in the NYC park to 2014 when Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise saw their names finally cleared. Having been vilified by New Yorkers back in the late 80s and forced to spend years in jail each, the five sued New York City and settled for just over $40 million about four years ago. Before you take another breath, take into account that sum that works out to around $1 million for every year they collectively spent tossed behind bars for a terrible crime they never committed."[1]

Cast and characters[edit]



On July 6, 2017, it was announced that Netflix had given the production a series order consisting of five episodes. The series was created by Ava DuVernay who is also set to write and direct. Executive producers are expected to include DuVernay, Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Rosenthal and Berry Welsh. Production companies involved with the series are set to include Participant Media, Harpo Films, and Tribeca Productions.[2] On July 9, 2018, it was reported that the series would now consist of four episodes, Bradford Young would serve as the series' cinematographer, and that Robin Swicord, Attica Locke, and Michael Starrbury would cowrite each episode with DuVernay.[1]

On March 1, 2019, DuVernay announced the series had been retitled When They See Us and would be released on May 31. The announcement was accompanied by the release of a teaser.[3]


In July 2018, it was announced that Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Jharrel Jerome, and Jovan Adepo had joined the series' main cast.[1][4] On August 3, 2018, it was reported that Niecy Nash, Aunjanue Ellis, Kylie Bunbury, Marsha Stephanie Blake, and Storm Reid had been cast in supporting roles.[5] A week later, it was announced that Chris Chalk, Ethan Herisse, Marquis Rodriguez, Caleel Harris, Freddy Miyares, Justin Cunningham and Asante Blackk had filled out the main cast, both as adults and as teenagers.[6] By the end of the month, it was reported that Joshua Jackson, Christopher Jackson, Adepero Oduye, Omar Dorsey, Blair Underwood, Famke Janssen, William Sadler, and Aurora Perrineau had also joined the cast.[7]


Principal photography for the series began during the week of August 6, 2018, in New York City, New York.[6] On August 10, 2018, filming took place on Madison Avenue in the East Harlem area of Manhattan.[8]


  1. ^ a b c Patten, Dominic (July 9, 2018). "Ava DuVernay's 'Central Park Five' Casts Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga & John Leguizamo For Netflix Limited Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  2. ^ Petski, Denise (July 6, 2017). "Ava DuVernay Teaming With Netflix On Central Park Five Limited Drama Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  3. ^ Patten, Dominic (March 1, 2019). "Ava DuVernay's 'Central Park Five' Gets Netflix Debut Date, New Name + Teaser". Deadline.
  4. ^ Petski, Denise (July 25, 2018). "'Central Park Five': Felicity Huffman, Jharrel Jerome & Jovan Adepo Join Ava DuVernay's Netflix Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  5. ^ Otterson, Joe (August 3, 2018). "'Wrinkle in Time' Star Storm Reid, Niecy Nash Among Five to Join Ava DuVernay's 'Central Park Five' Series". Variety. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Petski, Denise (August 10, 2018). "'Central Park Five': Chris Chalk, Ethan Herisse Among 6 Male Leads Cast In Ava DuVernay's Netflix Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
  7. ^ Patten, Dominic (August 24, 2018). "Ava DuVernay's 'Central Park Five' Adds Joshua Jackson, 'Hamilton's Christopher Jackson, Adepero Oduye & More". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  8. ^ "Friday, Aug 10 Filming Locations for This Is Us, The Boys, SVU, & more! - On Location Vacations". On Location Vacations. August 10, 2018. Retrieved August 10, 2018.

External links[edit]