Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
HBO isn’t in the habit of doing traditional newsmagazine shows, and its new magazine Vice (premiering April 5) is like no series of its ilk that mainstream TV has ever seen. It’s sort of Rolling Stone-meets-The-BBC-meets-Real Time With Bill Maher. And it’s certainly not coincidental that Maher is an exec producer on the globe-trotting newsmagazine fronted by host Shane Smith. Vice is also the name of the media company that produces the show that practices a New Age-style journalism that Smith called “Immersionism” during an afternoon panel at TCA. “We have local stringers, we dress the part (of the locals), and we try not to be intrusive,” Smith explained. “We also try to be smart about it. We aren’t action junkies. We just try to get a good story. Being able to have smaller crews helps.” Smith’s Vice partner and exec producer Eddy Moretti, who joined him on the panel, stressed that the show isn’t like a traditional news crew in any way. They will hang out with story subjects for days before even beginning to record, to cultivate trust. “Because we come as storytellers, rather than journalists, we’re often welcomed into these communities. It gives us an access that allows us to tell a rich human story.” (more…)