Shapiro doc aims at peace

Arnold Shapiro Prods., known as a maker of socially-relevant programming, is following that path again as an adjunct to the anti-violence debate — with plans for a four-hour syndicated documentary and CBS Schoolbreak Special tackling the subject.

Shapiro, whose credits include the Oscar-winning “Scared Straight!,” the recent “Scared Silent” and such syndicated efforts as “See Dick & Jane Lie, Cheat & Steal: Teaching Morality to Kids,” is preparing the syndicated doc, “Victory Over Violence,” as a comprehensive white paper that will bring a “solution-oriented approach” to the topic.

“I really want to make an impact,” Shapiro stated, saying the program would look at both prevention and response to violence as well as programs that have been effective around the country. A panelist at last month’s industry seminar on television violence, Shapiro said he’ll address media violence within the program but deems it a relatively small part of the violence equation.

No syndicator has been designated yet, but Shapiro is confident the project will proceed because it is being produced with the backing of insurance company USAA, which has underwritten 15 of his projects. The plan is to offer “Victory Over Violence” in either two two-hour or four one-hour installments.

For CBS, meanwhile, Shapiro is producing the tentatively titled CBS Schoolbreak Special “Kids Killing Kids,” which will explore four mini-dramas that end in violence, then replay those same events by taking guns out of the situation.

David Eagle will write and direct “Kids,” while Brenda Reiswerg will produce “Victory Over Violence.” Shapiro will exec produce both projects and write the latter.

Shapiro also plans to try and syndicate “Scared Silent: Exposing and Ending Child Abuse,” which aired simultaneously a year ago on CBS, NBC and PBS.

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