For Life is getting new life at ABC. The hourlong legal drama, which centers around a black man who is wrongly incarcerated, has been renewed for a second season, the network announced Monday. The pickup comes amid protests worldwide against racial injustice and police brutality, as well as continued support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Inspired by the life of Isaac Wright Jr., For Life is a legal and family drama about an imprisoned man, Aaron Wallace (Nicholas Pinnock), who becomes a lawyer litigating cases for other inmates while fighting to overturn his own life sentence for a crime he didn’t commit. His quest for freedom is driven by his desperate desire to get back to the family he loves -- his estranged wife, Marie (Joy Bryant), and daughter (Tyla Harris) -- and reclaim the life that was stolen from him. For Life also examines the flaws and challenges in the penal and legal systems.
"For Life just got renewed for season 2 by ABC! It’s more than just a show, it’s a fight for justice and we’re keeping the fight going," executive producer and star Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson said in a statement. "Isaac Wright Jr. stood up to the system and won his freedom and now more than ever, we need to keep telling the story inspired by his life. Creator Hank Steinberg and his team of writers are ready to continue exploring and exposing the flaws in the system which is so important now more than ever. I told you it would happen."
"It has been a profound honor working with Isaac Wright, Jr. and Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson to create a show that, through the prism of Isaac's experience in our broken criminal justice system, has been able to highlight the racial inequality that plagues this country," Steinberg said in a statement. "The show's renewal will allow us to continue to do that and I am extremely grateful to Sony Pictures Television and ABC for all of their support."
"When Isaac Wright Jr. told me his story, I thought this is definitely worthy of television and it’s a journey that you can show him going on that wouldn’t be like other television shows. It’s different than other traditional procedurals, family dramas or prison dramas," Jackson exclusively told ET. "When people have familiar flaws, you can relate to it and to them. With the character of Aaron Wallace, he is fighting to get back to his family. People can relate to that."
Jackson, who recurred as an inmate, Cassius, for multiple episodes, expressed why it was important to shed light on the penal system and the toll it can take on someone who's locked up.
"In For Life, I think people will understand what the trauma of that experience would do to a person -- learning the law while viewing the system itself as if it’s criminal because of the circumstances they’re learning under. Cassius is a part of that system," he said. "He only knows how to function inside the prison system, inside the prison walls. He never meant anything to anyone, but on the inside he has power because people fear him, and that’s what drives him. If he gets out, he will only end up back in because he doesn’t know how to function. He’s never had anything or accomplished much before he ended up in prison."
The series also stars Indira Varma, Mary Stuart Masterson, Boris McGiver,Dorian Missick and Timothy Busfield.
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