The official word: CNN today announced a new primetime lineup that continues to build on the network’s strategy of offering both live, breaking news programming as well as quality, original series, CNN Films and in-house documentaries.
As part of the announcement, the network is bringing Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) back to series television, in a new program called Somebody’s Gotta Do It. In addition, proven television personalities John Walsh (America’s Most Wanted) and Lisa Ling (Our America with Lisa Ling) will also join CNN, with their own new, original series. CNN will also premiere The Jesus Code, which will take viewers on a forensic and archaeological journey through the Bible. And CNN announced that the ten-part original series The Sixties, from Playtone and acclaimed producers Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, will premiere in late May. The network also announced that its Peabody and Emmy-award winning hit Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown has been picked up for an additional four cycles in 2015 and 2016 and its critically acclaimed series Morgan Spurlock Inside Man has been renewed for another cycle in 2015. CNN has also entered into a development deal with the producers of Chicagoland to tell the story of another great American city.
All of those original series, plus a weekly documentary from CNN’s in-house documentary unit, will air at 9pm, ET beginning this summer.
In making the announcement at CNN’s Upfront presentation in New York City, CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker said, “The best journalism is, at its core, great storytelling. We are so pleased to welcome some of the finest storytellers in the business to CNN, to join the award-winning team of world class journalists and storytellers who have made CNN the home to this kind of quality programming for more than 30 years. The seamless integration of original series and live news coverage, which has been on display the last two months, is the foundation of our new primetime lineup.”
That primetime lineup will begin with Erin Burnett Outfront at 7pm ET, followed by Anderson Cooper 360 at 8pm ET. The 9pm, ET hour will be the new home of CNN’s Original Series, CNN Films and the network’s in-house produced documentaries like Dr Sanjay Gupta’s Weed and Anderson’s Cooper’s The Survivor Diaries. Over the last year, CNN’s four most-watched series have been Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, Morgan Spurlock Inside Man, Chicagoland and Death Row Stories. At 10pm, ET CNN will debut a one-hour news program called CNN Tonight, a live hour of the day’s biggest stories, with rotating hosts anchoring the program.
New CNN Original Series:
Mike Rowe’s new series Somebody’s Gotta Do It brings viewers face to face with men and women who march to the beat of a different drum. In each episode, Rowe visits unique individuals and joins them in their respective undertakings, paying tribute to innovators, do-gooders, entrepreneurs, collectors, fanatics – people who simply have to do it. This show is about passion, purpose, and occasionally, hobbies that get a little out of hand. (Produced by Pilgrim Studios)
In a new documentary series for CNN, award-winning journalist and author Lisa Ling takes her audience on a gritty, breathtaking journey to far corners of America, immersing herself in sub-cultures that are unusual, bizarre and sometimes dangerous. Each episode delves into an alternative sect of everyday life, giving viewers an inside look at some of America’s most unconventional segments of society. (Produced by part2pictures)
The Hunt with John Walsh, a documentary-style, non-fiction program will take advantage of Walsh’s unique statue and perspective in television journalism and will tell stories of ongoing international criminal investigations in which the suspect is a fugitive at large. Through interviews with victims, loved ones and law enforcement and the exploration of new leads, The Hunt will provide the public with salient information to help in the fugitive’s apprehension. (Produced by Zero Point Zero Productions)
Finally, how could the most famous man in history have left almost no trace behind? Bringing the most compelling artifacts together for the first time, The Jesus Code will take viewers on a thrilling high-stakes journey through forensics, biblical archeology and forgery in history, exploring the evidence of Jesus’ existence by questioning the authenticity of sacred relics. (Produced by Nutopia Productions)