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Chicken Soup for the Soul Television presents new reality show exploring charity efforts

The show will be hosted by Emmy Award-winning actress Debra Messing.


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The Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment recently announced that it has greenlit the pilot for the reality series Mutual Aid Brigade, which is set to begin production in April.

Co-hosted by Debra Messing and author, speaker and activist Shelly Tygielski, the entertainment company said the series puts a new spin on the "uplifting reality" television genre, allowing viewers to not only participate in charitable activities in each episode, but also see the encouraging results of their efforts and contributions.

Messing noted:

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.

What is Mutual Aid Brigade?

The new reality show surrounds the daily work of the Pandemic of Love charity, an organization that has contributed more than $100 million in direct donations to a number of efforts nationwide.

The series following its work is backed by executive producers Shelly Tygielski and Gillian Hormel, and its executive producer is Michael Winter for Chicken Soup for the Soul Studios, Laura deNey and Mustafa Bhagat for Flicker Filmworks, Mark Schulman and Molly Madden of 3 Arts Entertainment, Phase 2 Media's Sandy Grushow, and Debra Messing and showrunner Dorothy Toran.

“Pandemic of Love has proven that a lot of people doing a little bit can create a huge impact. 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,” said Tygielski, founder. of Pandemic of Love. 

Get to know: Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment

It is one of the largest advertising-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) companies in the U.S., with three flagship streaming services: Redbox, Crackle, and Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Its most recognized division, Redbox Free Live TV, is an ad-supported free streaming television (FAST) service with more than 150 channels, as well as a video-on-demand (TVOD) transaction service, and a network of approximately 34,000 Kiosks in the U.S. for DVD rentals.

To provide original and exclusive content to its viewers, the company creates, acquires and distributes feature films and television series through its Screen Media and Chicken Soup affiliates for Soul TV Group.

“We are so honored 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,” said Michael Winter, SVP of Production for Chicken Soup for the Soul Studios.


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