By Tim Kenneally
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Robert Redford is heading to CNN - by way of Chicago.
CNN has picked up "Chicagoland," an eight-part series executive-produced by Redford and his Sundance Productions cohort Laura Michalchyshyn, the network said Wednesday.
Filmmakers Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin ("Brick City") also will executive-produce the unscripted series.
" is as authentic an American city as there is, and the series will explore where politics and policy meet real people's lives - in a city generating change and innovation in social policy, education, and public safety - to meet national and local challenges," CNN said of "Chicagoland."
The series, which will premiere early next year, will look at the challenges that Chicago faces in improving its public education system and boosting safety following America's economic collapse.
"The vibrant culture and opportunities inherent in this 21st century, world-class city run alongside profound daily challenges," Redford said of the series. "Much of it falls on the shoulders of its tough, visionary mayor, his team and people doing heroic work in neighborhoods throughout the city. Chicago has always had a rhythm all its own. It's a city that wears its heart on its sleeve and I am honored to be a part of telling this story."