Chioke Jelani Clanton as ‘Clyde Harris’ in the new action thriller web series RED SLEEP, coming this fall.

Sometimes, freedom comes with a price. For Clyde Harris, the protagonist of the new web series RED SLEEP, the price he pays for his freedom may be worse than he ever imagined. The series, created by Andre Welsh, is set to premiere this fall, and stars Chioke Jelani Clanton (who appeared in the Investigation Discovery documentary series CUFF ME IF YOU CAN) as Harris, a prison escapee who agrees to participate in an experimental drug program run by the U.S. military.

Unfortunately, the risks of the drugs – and the program he takes part in – prove greater than the rewards as Harris experiences severe side effects, along with being haunted by his dark past. RED SLEEP is set to debut this fall with ten episodes (viewing platforms to be announced), and also stars Akhu (from the 2011 independent film MILK MONEY) as Darnell, Don Stark (THAT ’70’s SHOW), Ron Kaell (from the short-lived NBC medical drama TRAUMA), and Jessica Sonneborn (from the 2013 horror film HOUSE ACROSS THE STREET).

Akhu as ‘Darnell’ in the new action thriller web series RED SLEEP.

RED SLEEP grew out of a short film produced by Welsh and starring Clanton. “I originally wrote a three-minute short that involved Chioke in the lead role, just wanting to write something dark and entertaining and it just grew from there,” Welsh says. “Andre and I began talking about the character and the world that encompassed him, and what we wanted to see as fans of this genre of film,” says Clanton, who along with Welsh set out to create RED SLEEP with a talented cast of actors that they knew well. “I remember us talking about completing a project with actors we’d known personally for years, were friends with, and admired their work. For example, Ahku and I have been friends since we were teens. When I knew this opportunity for the role of ‘Darnell’ was coming up I reached out to my brother (Ahku) to be a part of this RED SLEEP project along with us,” Clanton says.

Production for RED SLEEP was spread out over several weeks primarily due to scheduling conflicts, but the end result of the cast and crew’s hard work is a show that stands apart from many other action/adventure web series. “I would say that it’s the most unique from other shows in it’s genre. The production value, the writing, and the cast make it all really special, and these things set it apart,” Welsh says. The series not only seeks to entertain viewers with its storytelling, but also hopes to shed light on a major problem facing currently incarcerated African-Americans. “The long history of medical experimentation on prison inmates is a very important issue that affects many incarcerated Americans, especially those classified as ‘black’ and ‘brown,’ and has affected many inmates/slaves since before colonial times. We present this subject in the RED SLEEP series,” Clanton says.

Jessica Sonneborn as ‘Katrina’ in the new action thriller web series RED SLEEP.

The series will also appeal to those who are fans of many genres, such as action, sci-fi and suspense, resulting in an “urban-noir” style that serves as the show’s dramatic trademark, according to Welsh. “It’s really got a little for everybody. The fans of pulp comic books and graphic novels, conspiracy theorists, those who study government plots against unknowing citizens. There’s a lot of different topics that followers of the show will appreciate and reasons why it’ll be one of their favorite shows. I would put it on along the lines of shows like SCANDAL, or THE X-FILES,” Akhu says.

RED SLEEP is, in essence, two stories – the story of a man who finds himself in difficult circumstances, and the story of the hidden dangers lurking throughout the world that many people tend to take for granted – to their own peril. “We are at war, and the battle is being waged everyday inside of our minds, for our minds. We’re all dealt a bad hand in this life. If we don’t take time to learn the inner workings about this racist, sexist, and classist system that imprisons all of us regardless of our skin color, then we are all doomed to continue making decisions that keep us in the hands of our oppressors, while keeping us away from gaining true freedom,” Clanton says.