NEW YORK -- A new series on Hulu called "UnPrisoned" looks at the challenges of a therapist who must re-establish a bond with her father after he spent almost two decades behind bars.
Kerry Washington stars in the sitcom and is also a producer on the show.
During the years of "Scandal," Washington always seemed so sure of herself and so confident, but her newest character Paige - not so much.
Paige is a marriage and family therapist whose world is disrupted when her father, played by Delroy Lindo, gets released from prison after many years behind bars.
"I'm hoping that it causes people to look at these people, look at these kinds of situations differently," Lindo said.
The formerly incarcerated are called returning citizens.
"It's amazing to me that there are 80 million Americans living with a criminal record, and we're not telling the story of what it's like to come out and how it impacts families," Washington said.
"UnPrisoned" was created by a writer who based the series on her own life.
"I wouldn't want somebody who hadn't lived this story to tell this story," creator Tracy McMillan said.
McMillan's real father never lived with her as the character Edwin does in the show that she created. However, she said, "the essence, the feelings involved are exactly what happened."
That authenticity gives more meaning to a show that is promoted as a half hour sitcom.
"And, really our job was to be as honest as possible," Washington said. "That's right because the reality is life is funny."
They nailed it and that is tricky given what is essentially a very serious premise. The key was hiring top talent to perform honest scripts rooted in real life.
"UnPrisoned" debuts next Friday on Hulu, which is owned by the same parent company as this station.