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  • Premiered: 
    September 30, 2017
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: OWN
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Crime
  • Tags: prison

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Plot Synopsis

Executive produced by Oprah Winfrey, RELEASED is a one-hour series that presents autobiographical portraits of formerly incarcerated men and women as they walk out of the prison doors for the first time and attempt to reconnect with their loved ones, establish their independence and begin the long, hard work of resurrecting their abandoned lives. RELEASED chronicles the lives of these six people:

Bruce: Bruce believes things will be different after his release -- he's got a steady job and a small savings -- but he finds himself facing enormous challenges. After being incarcerated for 15 years, Bruce returns to a relationship that began while he was serving his sentence. He must adjust to living with his girlfriend, Kina, and being a father to his new baby girl while also repairing the relationship with his two teenage children. This time, he is determined to finally step up and be the father he's always known he could be. Although Bruce saved up a considerable savings while working at a brickyard in prison, he learns rather quickly that the value of a dollar is not what it used to be.

Jermaine: Jermaine was a respected member of his community as a high school football star and class president. He later enlisted in the Army. His incarceration has taken a heavy toll on his family. His son, Darius, now a father himself, struggled without Jermaine's guidance and support, and desperately needs his dad to step up now as a mentor, teacher and guide. Jermaine is also forced to recognize that, although his sone embraces him, not all his children are so forgiving of his absence. Jermaine's daughter, Asia, is resistance to seeing him and seems uninterested in reconciliation.

Kay: Kay is a loving mother to a teenage son with Down Syndrome. She's missed out on much of his childhood due to her incarceration. Her sister and brother-in-law took on the responsibility of raising her son to be a healthy and self-sufficient young man, and although Kay hopes to return as a strong presence in his life, her sister worries that it may be too much too early. In addition to her youngest son, Kay has three older sons to whom she didn't speak while she was behind bars. She wants to reconnect with her sons and be there for them, but she knows she will face resentment and anger for her repeated absences and failures after serving six different prison sentences.

Kevin: After 19 years away, Kevin returns home to a family that was shattered by his absence. He's determined to make things right with his son Kevin Jr. and daughter Darnesha, who were ages 6 and 2, respectively, when he went away, but he knows it won't be easy. Even as Kevin tries to step up as a father, constant obstacles make it difficult for him to remain calm and navigate the many demands of his new life.

Michael: Michael was raised by his maternal grandparents, a WWII veteran and a school teacher. He was a sharp and energetic boy, and his grandparents went to great lengths to keep him busy and focused. However, as he got older, he fell in with a group of peers who began to negatively influence him. Michael believes his time in prison gave him a lot of perspective, and tries not to dwell on the past. He always had family support while incarcerated, most importantly from his grandparents, who visited him often, so the death of his grandfather shocked and devastated him. Returning home after 18 years brings Michael face to face with that loss for the first time, and even as he begins building a new future for himself with a stable job, he must reckon with the past and come to terms with his grandfather's passing.

Sam: After serving 26 years in prison, Sam returns to his loving wife and the support of his five children, who have struggles without him -- but remain a close-knit family. Sam will need all the support he can get. Having served nearly 30 years, he's truly a fish out of water when faced with the fast-paced, high-tech environment that society has become. Advancements that have become commonplace in modern life, such as 21st-century transportation and smartphones, puzzle him as he continues to adjust to life on the outside.

On Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 10pm ET/PT, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network premiered a sneak-peek episode of RELEASED, four days before its official series premiere on Saturday, September 30 at 10pm. In this sneak-peek episode, "It's Over," convicted felons Kevin, Kay and Jermaine are released from prison after serving decades behind bars. Her sixth time out, Kay is now sober with a new attitude; Jermaine's daughter refuses to forgive him; and Kevin makes the long trip home.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Lucky 8