Advanced Television

Chicken Soup for the Soul greenlights Mutual Aid Brigade

January 25, 2023

Chicken Soup for the Soul Television Group, a division of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, has greenlit the pilot for the reality series Mutual Aid Brigade and will begin production in April. Co-hosted by Emmy Award-winning actress Debra Messing and author, speaker, and activist Shelly Tygielski, the series puts a new spin on the uplifting reality television genre as it allows viewers to not only participate in charitable activities on each episode but will also let them see the encouraging results of their efforts and contributions.

Far more than a show that grants wishes, Mutual Aid Brigade stems from the incredible, everyday work of the charitable organisation Pandemic of Love. This volunteer-led community pairs people who need help with people who want to be a part of the life-changing solution, creating a community of care. It is mutual aid in action. Pandemic of Love has transacted more than $100 million in direct giving.

The series is presented by executive producers Tygielski and Gillian Hormel, executive produced by Michael Winter for Chicken Soup for the Soul Studios, Laura deNey and Mustafa Bhagat for production company Flicker Filmworks, Mark Schulman and Molly Madden from 3 Arts Entertainment, Sandy Grushow from Phase 2 Media as well as Messing and the showrunner Dorothy Toran.

“Pandemic of Love has proven that a lot of people doing a little bit can create a huge impact,” said Tygielski, founder of Pandemic of Love. “I’m excited that our show will be able to bring the mutual aid model into the collective consciousness of our society. So many families in this country are struggling, and my hope is that Mutual Aid Brigade will be able to remind people that one act of kindness, no matter how small, can ripple out and change lives. Ultimately, this is a show that will inspire viewers to roll up their sleeves and move to action within their own communities.”

“I’m so excited to be working with this amazing team on this transformative series,” said Messing. “Our goal is to make real, lasting change in the lives of people who are hurting and in need. At the same time, demonstrating for our audience how any group of local community members/strangers with a unifying goal, have the power to change lives if they simply show up for one another.”

“We are so honoured that Shelly, Gillian and Debra have come to us to help tell their stories.  Each episode will embody the ethos and the power of storytelling that has made Chicken Soup for the Soul such a beloved brand around the world,” added Winter.

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