From the lens of Ava DuVernay, in today’s current climate, many people are less connected to others outside of their own circles, yet bound by common life concerns. DuVernay looks to examine those differences and common issues in her first primetime unscripted series, “Home Sweet Home.”
Each hour-long episode of the 10-part series for NBC will focus on two families who both have vastly different lives, whether it’s because of race, culture, religion, finances, gender or residency.
“Home Sweet Home” will be produced by DuVernay’s production company ARRAY Filmworks with Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. DuVernay, Sarah Bremner and Paul Garnes, also of ARRAY, will serve as executive producers.
A show goal is for families to get a better sense of what challenges each faces and how those hurdles help shape them. At the same time, DuVernay wants both participants and viewers to learn of each other’s commonalities. The families will switch homes with one another for one week.
“The idea for ‘Home Sweet Home’ came to me during the strange and important times we’re all experiencing,” DuVernay said in a press statement. “The premise is that we are farther apart than ever, yet bound by what we have in common: concerns with health, safety, justice, and community.”
She added, “These notions manifest in each of us in different ways, but nowhere more striking than in the privacy of our own homes. I’m thrilled that NBC and Warner Horizon embraced the challenge of this moment to celebrate the specificity of our differences as we discover the many beautiful things that we have in common.”
It’s been quite a busy summer for the “Selma” director. In June, she launched the Law Enforcement Accountability Project, an initiative that will fund 25 artistic endeavors, across different mediums, to shine a light on police brutality and social injustice through storytelling.
In June, more news came that DuVernay teamed with Colin Kaepernick for a limited Netflix series titled “Colin in Black & White.” The project will focus on Kaepernick’s teenage years growing up in Turlock, California, and being adopted by a white family.
Like DuVernay, Meredith Ahr, president of Alternative and Reality Group for NBC Entertainment, said she hopes that “Home Sweet Home” will create a dialogue between people that’s centered on a deeper understanding of each other.
“We are honored to partner with Ava for the first time to bring ‘Home Sweet Home’ to life at NBC,” said Ahr in a statement. “Led by Ava’s powerful and hopeful creative vision, these stories will reveal genuine moments of change that we hope will spark thought-provoking conversations and encourage compassion, empathy and understanding.”
DuVernay posted a message about the upcoming show on her Instagram page on Friday, July 17, and said she’s excited to tackle new artistic ground.
“Moving into non-scripted TV with our new show HOME SWEET HOME feels like a beautiful extension of my doc work and our ongoing mission at @ARRAYNow,” she wrote. “Thanks to our long-time partners at @warnerbrostv and our new friends at @NBC for holding hands with us on this one. Excited about it! New ways of telling our stories is one of my favorite things to learn and try. xo.”
A premiere date for the series hasn’t been announced.