CNN, truTV unveil programming slates for 2016-2017

U.S. cable net CNN has lined up doc series about history-making songs, the evolution of comedy and The Nineties, while truTV is readying three new comedy series and a feature doc.
May 18, 2016

A doc series about history-making songs from executive producer Dwayne Johnson is among three new series on CNN’s 2016-2017 slate.

The eight-part Soundtracks: Songs That Made History (working title) will explore music tied to iconic moments from history such as the March on Washington, Hurricane Katrina and the Stonewall Riots.

Show of Force and Seven Bucks Productions are coproducing, and Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia and Brian Gewirtz serve as executive producers alongside Johnson.

The series was among the original programming announcements unveiled during CNN parent Turner’s upfront presentation in New York on Wednesday (May 18). Execs announced 1,000 hours of scripted and unscripted series and specials across networks CNN, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and TruTV, among others.

In addition to Soundtracks, two more originals are joining the CNN slate.

The eight-part The History of Comedy from Herzog & Company will delve into political humor, slapstick, Shakespeare, Vaudeville and other forms of comedy using archive, interviews and original comedic material.

The program is exec produced by Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner of Hazy Mills, alongside Mark Herzog and Christopher G. Cowen of Herzog & Company.

Meanwhile, the latest edition of the U.S. cable network’s decade-themed miniseries progresses into The Nineties, which will look at such cultural milestones as former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment. Executive producers are Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman and Mark Herzog.

The previously announced Believer with Reza Aslan is also on the slate and set to launch next year.

Meanwhile, truTV’s slate includes three new comedy series, an Impractical Jokers special and a feature documentary.

Jon Glaser will star in the hybrid comedy-docuseries Jon Glaser Loves Gear (10 x 30 minutes), which is all about the actor’s obsession with gear. It premieres in the fall.

Meanwhile, hosts Matthew Latkiewicz and Abbi Crutchfield will star in the Redtail Media-produced Lifescaping (13 x 30 minutes, working title), which is billed as “a guide to all those real-life skills you’re expected to know but no one ever taught you,” such as how to get a bartender’s attention.

The six-episode Greatest Ever is a pop-culture countdown show hosted by Amanda Seales that is to debut on July 5. Produced by Meetinghouse Productions, the series features videos of animals, weddings, sports, politicians and unintentionally funny inventions and infomercials.

TruTV has also greenlit the 90-minute feature doc The Problem with Apu starring comedian Hari Kondabolu. The film is a comedic cultural exposé based on the cartoon character Apu, the Indian convenience store owner from The Simpsons. Marobru, Inc. and Avalon Television are producing.

Finally, a two-hour live special featuring the stars of Impractical Jokers from NorthSouth Productions rounds out the cable net’s originals slate.

TruTV’s development roster includes an untitled weekly satire series starring Kondolu, an untitled show about games and gadgets starring Kevin Pereira, an untitled hidden-camera series featuring UK comedian Olivia Lee and an untitled comedic news show hosted by comedian Jena Friedman.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.