Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (pictured) is heading to U.S. news net CNN to host and produce Inside Man, an original series that will air weekends, alongside programming featuring chef Anthony Bourdain.
Spurlock’s series will see the Oscar-nominated director providing an insider’s view into rarely-seen sectors of American life each week, including “gun lovers, marijuana growers, migrant farm workers, and end-of-life caregivers,” according to the network.
The move continues CNN’s serious push into lifestyle programming, as it attempts to grow beyond its news-reporting roots.
In May, it hired Travel Channel star Anthony Bourdain to host a new weekend program; and in July it bid farewell to CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton, who admitted in departing that the network needed “new thinking” and “a different perspective.”
Inside Man will debut on CNN in April 2013, and will be produced by Warrior Poets, Spurlock’s New York-based production company, with producing partner Jeremy Chilnick.
“Morgan Spurlock’s name has become synonymous with creative and thought-provoking documentary storytelling,” said Mark Whitaker, CNN Worldwide exec VP and managing editor, in a statement.
“Like Anthony Bourdain’s new CNN series, Inside Man will carry the distinctive stamp of its host while taking viewers on colorful and informative journeys into fascinating corners of American society.”
Spurlock added: “We have wanted to make a smart, challenging and entertaining network show for the past few years and we couldn’t have found a better partner to accomplish that with than CNN.”
Spurlock’s hire comes via CNN’s ‘Talent and Development’ department, which is overseen by Whitaker and was launched in January.
Amy Entelis is the executive in charge of recruiting and developing talent, developing new programming and overseeing acquisitions strategy for CNN, HLN and other CNN platforms. Vinnie Malhotra oversees program development and acquisitions with external production companies for CNN and HLN.
For Spurlock, the show is one of many projects on the go. This year alone he has launched two feature docs, Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope and Mansome, with the latter expanding into a web series for Yahoo!, which also hosted Spurlock’s online show Failure Club.
He also made The Dotted Line for ESPN, A Day in the Life for Hulu, and Morgan Spurlock’s New Britannia for Sky Atlantic; and – via Warrior Poets – partnered with Snoot Entertainment’s Keith Calder and veteran commercial producer Shannon Lords to launch a commercials production company.
Spurlock is also on the advisory board for the non-fiction industry’s biggest annual conference, the Realscreen Summit.
Talking to realscreen about his expanding portfolio earlier in the year, Spurlock explained: “As things continue to grow, what’s important to me is that you can still feel the imprimatur of me and what we do at my company, which is create smart, engaging, funny, aspirational and inspirational material. Things that I think can make an impact.”
(Photo: Nichon Glerum for Realscreen © 2012)