For Life is a new legal drama based on real-life events. The premiere episode will air tonight, Feb 11, 2020, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. The main character is inspired by Isaac Wright Jr., a man who was wrongfully convicted and spent seven years in prison.
While in prison, Aaron, who is played by Nicholas Pinnock, becomes a lawyer, litigating cases for other inmates while trying to get his own conviction overturned.
Aaron’s is trying to get out of prison not only for himself, but also for his estranged wife and daughter. In one of the previews for the season, his daughter reveals to him that she’s pregnant and tells him that if he doesn’t get out of prison, he won’t be able to see the baby.
The show will also explore flaws in the prison and legal systems in the United States.
What True-Life Story is Series Based On?
The main character of the series, Aaron Wallace, is inspired by a real man who lived in New Jersey and was wrongfully convicted of drug trafficking after a corrupt prosecutor decided to set his sights on him. Isaac Wright Jr. was sentenced to life in prison after representing himself in court, even though he only had a high school diploma at the time and no real legal experience.
After spending seven years in prison, Wright was granted a new trial after the corruption of the lead prosecutor in his case was exposed. He then followed up his time in prison by finishing college and passing the bar exam. During the Television Critics Association Winter 2020 Press Tour, he talked about what it was like to see his life be portrayed on screen by actor Nicholas Pinnock.
“When I had the opportunity to be on set and watch Nicholas perform, for the first time, in watching Nicholas’ performance, I was able to see myself as a third person,” he said. “It became a therapeutic process for me to watch Nicholas and move through episode by episode with him. He was somebody that allowed me to reflect on the pain that I was going through at the time.”
For Life credits the rapper 50 Cent as a producer. After a chance meeting with 50 Cent, Wright told him the story of his wrongful imprisonment. At the time, Wright was helping an illegal fight club go legit and get the licensing it needed. 50 Cent had been invited to perform at the club, but he refused to do so until it was legal. Working together, 50 and Wright brought the story to network executives, and the rest is history.
For Life Preview
In the pilot, Wallace becomes a lawyer and begins litigating cases for other inmates. His struggle with a progressive female prison warden will explore the flaws in prison and legal systems and illustrate how one person can make a true difference if they fight for the truth.
The second episode will see rising tensions between Aaron and his crew when he provides counsel for a white supremacist in order to repay his debt to another inmate. Aaron also sues the NYPD in order to gain access to his file, which upsets the district attorney and causes him to up his game. In this episode, Aaron’s daughter’s boyfriend will come to the prison to meet his girlfriend’s father for the first time. Episode two airs on Feb 18.
For Life premieres on ABC at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Tuesday, Feb 11.