True to his word, CNN chief Jeff Zucker this morning announced the cable news network is creating another “destination” for acquired documentary films in a new brand called CNN Films Presents. March Of The Penguins, and The Imposter are among the titles to be telecast on CNN/U.S. in 2014. “The goal for the next six months, is that we need more shows and less newscasts,” Zucker said in a recent interview about “massive changes” he’s got planned for the network, adding that he wants CNN to attract “viewers who are watching places like Discovery and History and Nat Geo and A&E.” Zucker hinted the docu-films CNN has been running on the weekend could get some weekday primetime play. “Yes, there will be more and, yes, they will not just be on Sundays…I think it will expand past just the weekends…This is a primetime play. It’s too expensive to confine it to weekends.” Under its other, CNN Films brand, the network enjoyed great ratings results in October with the premiere of CNN Films: Blackfish, exploring the consequences of keeping orcas in captivity at marine theme parks for the entertainment of humans.
From this morning’s CNN announcement:
CNN Films Presents will be a sister brand to “CNN Films,” which was launched in October 2012, and is the network’s brand for acquired or commissioned documentary features, following their exhibitions in theaters. All CNN Films Presents broadcasts will be acquired films. And, the new brand will also be distinguished from CNN Films in that its documentaries will have broadcast windows that are not first-on-television premieres.
The first CNN Films Presents broadcast will be the French nature documentary, MARCH OF THE PENGUINS, produced by Ilann Girard, directed by Luc Jacquet, and stirringly narrated by Academy award-winning actor, Morgan Freeman. Released in 2005, MARCH OF THE PENGUINS received the 2006 Oscar for Best Documentary Feature from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the 2005 Best Documentary award from the Broadcast Film Critics Association. The film will air on CNN/U.S., beginning on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014.
THE IMPOSTER is a British-American co-production, and is the story of a Frenchman who impersonated a Texas child who went missing in 1994. Produced by Dimitri Doganis and directed by Bart Layton, THE IMPOSTER will air on Thursday, Jan. 23, as the second CNN Films Presents broadcast. THE IMPOSTER was honored as the 2012 Best Documentary by the British Independent Film Awards.
“CNN Films Presents is a curated series of exceptional documentary feature films from the past for a new audience to discover and for fans to enjoy again,” said Vinnie Malhotra, senior vice president of development and acquisitions for CNN Worldwide, “We will revisit classics like MARCH OF THE PENGUINS, and more recent critically-acclaimed titles like THE IMPOSTER.”
CNN Films Presents films, like CNN Films, will be curated by Malhotra and Amy Entelis, senior vice president of talent and content development.