Peacock Develops Series About COINTELPRO Co-Written and Produced by Alumni
BY Cody Beltis, January 28, 2021
An untitled drama series about COINTELPRO, co-written and executive produced by Leon Hendrix '15 and Ajani Jackson ‘15, is currently being developed by Peacock. An official release date has not yet been announced.
The series, set in 1965, focuses on Amos Harvey, a conservative Black cop and veteran of the Korean War, who is forcibly recruited into the FBI’s secret task-force, COINTELPRO. Harvey’s job is to infiltrate the Civil Rights movement to destroy the organization from the inside.
Meanwhile, Amos’ wife Roberta, a nurse tired of her role in a broken and unfair socio-economic system, finds herself reinvigorated when she joins the movement behind her husband’s back. Before long, deception and secrecy split the Harvey household as Amos and Roberta end up on opposite sides of the war for America’s soul.
Hendrix was born and raised on the southside of Chicago. He found his way into theater and journalism as an undergrad and created news packages for Dan Rather Reports and the New York Times Student Journalism Institute. An Academy of TV Arts and Sciences fellow, and Fox HBCU Media Alliance member, Hendrix entered Columbia University in 2011, where he developed his pilot, Wake.
The script for Wake was a semi-finalist at the Austin Film Festival in 2014. Leon has developed stories with Levinson/Fontana, 2929 Productions, and CBS. Leon writes dramas and genre stories that push new cultural perspectives to the mainstream. In his spare time, Leon works with at-risk youth and families with special needs.
Jackson grew up in a middle-American college town, the son of professors; both forged in the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. After studying under Kevin Willmott at the University of Kansas, Jackson earned his MFA from Columbia University. His short projects received the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Short Film Award and the Everest Entertainment Development Award, before playing at film festivals around the world.
During that time, Jackson worked in development at Cine Mosaic before developing stories with directors Jeremy Xido (Death Metal Angola) and Zachary Heinzerling (Cutie & the Boxer). His screenplay, The Secret Life of Margaret Grey, made it to the second round of consideration for the Sundance Feature Screenwriting Lab. In 2016, Jackson was one of four writers selected for a sponsored residency at the Nantucket Screenwriters Colony. Currently, Jackson is writing for the videogame Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, he has a script in development at Circle of Confusion and a television series in development with eOne and Cedar Park Entertainment.