Filmed in Chicago, 4400 series premiere, titled Past Is Prologue, airs on Monday, October 25, at 8 PM CST on The CW.
The original The 4400 series ran for 4 years and 44 episodes and was cancelled in December 2007, reportedly due to low ratings, budget costs, and the ongoing Writers Guild strike at the time. USA Network sci-fi series created by Scott Peters and René Echevarria, told the story about 4400 people who vanished over fifty years suddenly reappearing. None have aged, and slowly it’s revealed that they have mysterious powers.
As we reported back in March, the reboot is titled 4400 (no “The”) and is part of four greenlights given by the CW, each having all-female creative teams, and is written by Ariana Jackson. This reboot is about 4400 overlooked, undervalued, or otherwise marginalized people who vanished without a trace over the last hundred years are all returned in an instant, having not aged a day and with no memory of what happened to them.
Fans of the original 2004-2007 series are going to notice some stark differences between the original and the reboot, most notably the diversity of the cast. The co-showrunner for The CW’s upcoming 4400 reboot revealed that the series will tackle America’s decades-long problem of racial injustice.
Ariana Jackson told Entertainment Weekly as part of its fall television preview that the 2021 version of the series will explore “the history and legacy of white supremacy in our country and how it hasn’t been fixed, and how that has led to where we are now.”
The reboot features a majority Black cast, and the trailers and overall premise seems to indicate that the show will engage in various dynamics among Black people from different periods. TL Thompson, who plays the character Andre from 1924, said at The New York Comic Con Virtual Screening, “I’ve never seen sci-fi with this much melanin.” They continued, “I’ve never seen sci-fi based on our current time. A lot of sci-fi is world-building. It is so beautiful that this is our world.”
Not only is the cast racially diverse, it also features an LGBTQ+ inclusive cast including Kausar Mohammed (The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night), Wilder Yari (The L Word: Generation Q) and Theo Germaine (The Politician & Work in Progress). The show also features at least one transgender character, played by a trans man, TL Thompson. The character, Dr. Andre is a transgender man and doctor from the 1920’s.
4400 also stars Brittany Adebumola as Shanice, Jaye Ladymore as Claudette, Derrick A. King as Rev. Johnston, Khailah Johnson as Ladonna, Joseph David-Jones as Jharrel, Autumn Best as Mildred, Ireon Roach as Keisha, Amarr as Hayden, and Cory Jeacoma as Logan.
The CW’s 4400 has released the official synopsis of its first episode and you can read the complete synopsis below.
Past is Prologue – (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET) (TV-PG, LV) (HDTV)
SERIES PREMIERE – Over the last century at least four thousand four hundred people who were overlooked, undervalued, or otherwise marginalized vanished without a trace off the face of the planet. Last night, inexplicably, they were all returned in an instant to Detroit having not aged a day and with no memory of what happened to them. As the government races to understand the phenomenon, analyze the potential threat, and contain the story, Jharrel (Joseph David-Jones), an empathetic social worker, and Keisha (Ireon Roach), a hardened community corrections officer, are among the civil servants called upon to deal with the uncanny refugees. The new partners clash in ideology and approach, but gradually find they have more in common than they thought as they become familiar with those under their care, including Shanice (Brittany Adebumola), a lawyer and resilient young mother from the early aughts, whose unexpected reunion with her estranged husband Logan (Cory Jeacoma) and suddenly teenaged daughter Mariah is immediately rocky; Andre (TL Thompson), a WWI Army surgeon fresh from the Harlem Renaissance; Claudette (Jaye Ladymore), an influential hidden figure from the Mississippi civil rights movement; Isaiah “Rev” Johnston (Derrick A. King), a black sheep reverend-scion born to a notable televangelist family in 1990s Chicago; LaDonna (Khailah Johnson), a seemingly shallow but misunderstood D-list reality TV star from Miami, circa 2015; and two wildly different unaccompanied teens, Mildred (Autumn Best), a vibrant girl, whose bell bottoms give away her 1970s upbringing, and Hayden (Amarr), an introspective, prescient boy, whose origin remains a mystery. These unwilling time travelers, collectively the 4400, must grapple with their impossible new reality, the fact that they’ve been returned with a few…upgrades, and the increasing likelihood that they were brought back now for a reason they’re only beginning to understand. Janice Cooke directed the episode written by Ariana Jackson.
The premiere is set in Detroit, however it is now widely known that it was filmed in Chicago. Not only are cast members tightlipped about what superpowers their characters might (or might not) have, production has done an excellent job at keeping filming locations a secret in order to avoid unfortunate spoilers.
Every episode of 4400 will be available to stream on The CW App and CWTV.com the day after broadcast.
Executive produced by Ariana Jackson and Sunil Nayar
Created by Anna Fricke and Ariana Jackson
Directed by Janice Cooke
Written by Ariana Jackson
4400 series premiere, titled Past Is Prologue, airs on Monday, October 25th at 8 PM CST on The CW.