The show, which has been announced as part of the channel’s new slate of specialist factual programming, will tell the story of modern America through one man, showing how he has embodied many of the movements that have shaped U.S. society from the 1960s to present day, from turbo-capitalism and political disenfranchisement to celebrity, reality TV and social media.
72 films is producing the series with David Glover and Mark Raphael as exec producers.
Also on the new slate is feature-length special A Year of British Murder, which sets out to track all the murders that take place in a single year in the UK. Through gathering and deciphering 2017 homicide statistics, the film will aim to reveal the emerging and often surprising trends about who is being killed, who is ending lives, how and where they are taking place. Ben Anthony (7/7: One Day In London) directs and will illustrate trends with individual stories telling the impact of murder on friends, family, colleagues and the ripples of trauma that reach the larger community of both the victims and the perpetrators.
The special is being made by Arrow Media and John Smithson, who is currently in the works on a biopic about American war reporter Marie Colvin, is exec producing.
The third new commission for the broadcaster is The Channel, a four-part series that explores the English Channel, the busiest shipping lane in the world. The access-all-areas series will explore how the vast interlocking system that powers the UK and connects it to Europe is a vital lifeline, and one that is changing quickly in the wake of the Brexit vote.
Made by Blast! Films, the series producer is Will Rowson and series director is Owen Gower. Edmund Coulthard, Alistair Pegg and Jon Stephens exec produce.
“As the youngest of the terrestrial channels, we’re naturally focussed on what’s happening now and what’s happening next,” said Channel 4’s Head of Specialist Factual John Hay. “I’m excited by ideas that start by asking, ‘What’s going on in the world?’ and then use Specialist Factual to interrogate, explain and challenge that. And I think this slate shows a curiosity about the contemporary life and a desire to shed fresh light on it, that’s at the heart of a lot of our best programming.”