Elizabeth Vargas (20/20, ABC News) has signed an overall first-look development and production deal with A+E Networks. The centerpiece of the deal will make Vargas the face of the network’s new nonfiction primetime journalistic banner A&E Investigates, a collection of nonfiction series and specials that will utilize Vargas’ background in investigative reporting.
In addition to her new role with A&E Investigates, Vargas will team with A+E Networks to develop and produce new nonfiction programming through the newly launched nonfiction content development company, A+E Originals.
“Elizabeth is a brave storyteller and one of the most trusted journalists who is an expert at bringing audiences closer to the heart of stories that have never been told in order to reveal genuine moments of truth,” said Elaine Frontain Bryant, EVP & Head of Programming, A&E Network. “Her honest and authentic brand is the perfect fit for our audience that always seeks the truth and we are fortunate that she chose A+E Networks as her new home.”
Initial projects under the A&E Investigates umbrella include Cults and Extreme Belief, in which Vargas, alongside former members of controversial organizations, goes on a search to uncover how these sects use their influence to prey upon people’s desperation to create powerful and often destructive belief systems. Produced by The Intellectual Property Corporation, Cults and Extreme Belief will premiere over two nights, May 28 and May 29 at 10 PM.
Also upcoming for A&E Investigates is a counter-intelligence special focusing on Russia, The Plot Against America which premieres Monday, June 4 at 8 PM, and Child Brides (working title) which looks at the prevalence of child brides in America, young girls who are forced into marriages against their will. The two-hour special will premiere this fall.
Also on A&E Investigates’ slate is The Untitled Word of Faith Fellowship Project (working title), an hourlong docuseries which follows the decades-long controversy surrounding the secretive Word of Faith Fellowship Church in Spindle, North Carolina. It’s slated for premiere this summer.
This is the second overall deal for A+E Originals, following the previously announced pact with Leah Remini.