2:58pm PT by Michael O'Connell
A&E's Leah Remini Show to Tackle Scientology "Abuse" and "Harassment"
A&E confirmed its new Leah Remini reality show on Thursday, offering details on her Scientology-centric series and announcing an early premiere date.
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath will premiere the first of eight hourlong episodes on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 10 p.m. As The Hollywood Reporter first reported in September, the series was filmed over the course of the summer. It will follow the former Scientology member as she speaks with others who've left the controversial church. A release from the network said it will dive deep into stories of "abuse, heartbreak and harassment" experienced by those who have left the church.
“This series is about sharing the truth about Scientology," said Remini. "Truth born out of very personal experiences. Truth that is shocking, things I did not expect to find when I embarked on the journey of making these shows. For too long, this multibillion-dollar organization bullied victims and journalists to prevent the truth being told. It is my hope that we shed light on information that makes the world aware of what is really going on and encourages others to speak up so the abuses can be ended forever. I hope that people who have left now feel they have a safe place to go. I hope others who have also experienced abuses will come forward and help us to do something about it."
It's a bold move for A&E, which is hungry for a new unscripted hit. The Church of Scientology is famously litigious, though recent years have seen a growing number of projects attempting to discredit it. (See Alex Gibney doc Going Clear.)
The project also seems to be taking a very clear stance on the church, referring to the former members as "victims."
"Even though I had been a member of the church for a long time, I was stunned by some of the things I learned," added Remini. "There is a lot more to this story than anyone knows. And this series is breaking ground in bringing that information to light."
A&E is producing the series alongside The Intellectual Property Corporation (IPC) — and its executives Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman. The duo are joined by Remini (under her No Seriously Productions mantle) and showrunner Alex Weresow as executive producers.