Author Reza Aslan will host a new spiritual adventure series for CNN, titled Believer, and comedian W. Kamau Bell will travel across the country exploring various communities in United Shades of America, the cable news network announced this morning. These series will join the previously announced mini docu-series Race For The White House, narrated by Kevin Spacey.
Religious studies scholar Aslan hosts Believer (working title), is billed by CNN as a new “spiritual adventure series.” In each episode, Aslan will dive into a faith-based groups to experience life as a “true believer.” Watch Aslan participate in endurance worship, rituals, and rites of passage, to learn about “worlds that have been molded by faith and tradition.” (Produced by Whalerock Industries).
United Shades of America follows comedian W. Kamau Bell as he explores the “far corners of our country” and its “subcultures,” CNN described. The network promises he will ask questions, get himself into awkward situations, and make people laugh. The series will demonstrate, the cable news network said, there are “many diverse and colorful definitions of America.” Bell, Jimmy Fox, Eli Holzman, Stephen Lambert, Andrew O’Connor and Star Price executive produce. (Produced by Objective Productions).
CNN’s 2015-16 slate includes the April premiere of High Profits (Bat Bridge), which gives viewers access to a Colorado couple hoping to become rich off pot, and The Seventies , a follow-up to the critically-acclaimed series The Sixties from Playtone and producers Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, coming this summer.
Also this summer, The Hunt with John Walsh (ZPZ Productions) and Death Row Stories (Jigsaw/Sundance Productions) returns. 2015 will see the return of This is Life with Lisa Ling (part2 Pictures), Bourdain and Rowe as well. Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery (Nutopia), The Wonder List with Bill Weir (CNN) and Morgan Spurlock Inside Man (Warrior Poets) are currently airing on CNN.
Returning to CNN in 2016: Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown (ZPZ Productions), which has been picked up for an additional two cycles next year, and new seasons of Morgan Spurlock Inside Man, Mike Rowe’s Somebody’s Gotta Do It (Pilgrim Studios), and The Hunt with John Walsh.
Whalerock Industries, formerly BermanBraun, was founded eight years ago and includes digital properties Wonderwall, Mandatory, Mom.me and Moviefone (in partnership with Aol) reaching approximately 70 million consumers per month across their touch points.
Objective Productions, founded by Andrew O’Connor and Michael Vine in 1991, is based in London, Glasgow and Los Angeles. Notable productions from Objective include Derren Brown: The Experiments (Channel 4), The Cube (ITV), Peep Show (Channel 4), Fresh Meat (Channel 4), Reflex (BBC ONE), Toast of London (Channel 4) and Bad Robots (Channel 4). The company is owned by All3Media America, the Los Angeles-based production studio for All3Media, headquartered in the UK and jointly owned by Discovery Communications and Liberty Global.