HBO Max Orders Heaven’s Gate Suicide Doc & Alex Gibney-Produced Series On Fame As Part Of Debut CNN Slate

The 'Heaven's Gate' scene Kent Horner/AP/Shutterstock

An exploration of the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide pact and a docuseries about fame, fortune and power from Alex Gibney are among CNN’s first slate for HBO Max.

The streaming service has greenlit four original unscripted projects from its sister news brand.

Heaven’s Gate is a four-part series, from CNN Original Series, that explores the infamous religious movement and the stranger-than-fiction circumstances that culminated in the biggest mass suicide to ever take place on U.S. soil. It follows the death of 39 members of the cult in San Diego in 1997, who believed that they would reach an extraterrestrial spacecraft.

Directed and executive produced by Clay Tweel (Gleason), Heaven’s Gate is produced by Ross Dinerstein’s Campfire, which produced lauded documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Dinerstein exec produces alongside Chris Bannon, Eric Spiegelman, Peter Clowney, and Erik Diehn for the digital media company Stitcher, which produced the Heaven’s Gate podcast.

Generation Hustle (w/t) is a 10-part series from Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions, which recently produced HBO’s The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley. It looks at the lengths young people will go to for fame, fortune, and power. The series will be executive produced by Yon Motskin, Stacey Offman, and Richard Perello.

The Scoop (w/t) is a documentary feature produced by CNN Films that follows the lives of CNN’s female political reporters as they cover the most unpredictable presidential campaign in American history. The behind-the- scenes documentary draws from access to the campaign press corps and reveals how these political reporters deal with the candidates as well as with the challenges of life on the road.

Finally, Persona (w/t) is a documentary feature produced by CNN Films that explores the origin story of America’s obsession with personality testing.  Embedded in everything from dating sites to job applications, Persona reveals the ways personality testing has formed and influenced the world around us.

“We are tremendously inspired by CNN’s history of award-winning documentary storytelling and journalistic integrity,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “This slate of projects with CNN demonstrates our power as a media family to create quality programming that covers the captivating and critical issues of today.”

“We are so pleased to produce original nonfiction projects with HBO Max and to release new content from CNN Films and CNN Original Series via a streaming partner that complements our brands and creative goals,” said Amy Entelis, executive vice president for talent and content development for CNN Worldwide.  “We look forward to partnering on future projects as well.”

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