Shadowland Documentary Series, Inspired by The Atlantic’s Reporting on the Power and Danger of Conspiracy, to Premiere on Peacock
Six-part docuseries from RadicalMedia and filmmaker Joe Berlinger to screen September 21 at The Atlantic Festival
The Atlantic’s groundbreaking and prescient editorial series “Shadowland”––which reported on the increasing hold that conspiracy theories have over Americans and the threats they pose to democracy––has inspired a documentary series of the same name that will premiere on Peacock next month.
Peacock announced today that the six-part docuseries Shadowland will premiere Wednesday, September 21, with all six episodes available to watch immediately. The series––created by Academy Award–nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger and RadicalMedia, producers of this year’s Academy Award–winning Best Documentary Feature Summer of Soul––marks the first time The Atlantic has partnered with filmmakers to produce a docuseries inspired by its reporting and featuring its journalists.
The Atlantic Festival, in Washington, D.C., will host the world premiere of the series’ first episode on September 21, followed by a conversation with Berlinger and The Atlantic’s executive editor, Adrienne LaFrance, who is featured in the docuseries and whose cover story “The Prophecies of Q” anchored The Atlantic’s reporting project. Tickets for The Atlantic Festival are on sale now.
Against the backdrop of the January 6 insurrection, former President Donald Trump’s perpetuation of the Big Lie of a stolen election, and a segment of the country’s continued COVID-19 and vaccine denial, Berlinger sent documentary teams across America to uncover how conspiracy theories have moved from the margins to the mainstream, and why they are more powerful and dangerous than ever. The deeply immersive series embeds with subjects who have rejected mainstream narratives to explore how people come to their beliefs, and what makes these theories so alluring. The resulting Shadowland episodes demonstrate the influence of conspiracy thinking on the functioning of our democracy, as families, friends, and the nation are being torn apart.
In addition to LaFrance, the series includes editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg, special projects editor Ellen Cushing, and staff writers Megan Garber, Adam Harris, and Kaitlyn Tiffany. Each episode is rooted in the magazine’s extensive reporting on conspiracy theories, and their destructive seeping influence and erosion of democratic norms.
The Atlantic has focused intently on coverage of threats to democracy, including conspiracism and extremism. It began the year with a special print issue devoted to this subject and anchored by a cover story, “January 6 Was Practice.” As Jeffrey Goldberg wrote in an editor’s note at the time: “The Atlantic, across its long history, has held true to the belief that the American experiment is a worthy one, which is why we’re devoting this issue, and so much of our journalism in the coming years, to its possible demise.”
For Press –– Screeners + Premiere: Screeners will be available starting September 7. Please contact Anna Bross at email@example.com to request a screener, or if you’re interested in attending the premiere on September 21 at The Atlantic Festival.