Docs

Coming Soon: “Above and Beyond”, “The Sentence”

In this week’s roundup, we look at unscripted series and documentaries scheduled to debut on Discovery Channel, Facebook Watch, HBO and National Geographic. Facebook Watch is readying to plate the series ...
October 4, 2018

In this week’s roundup, we look at unscripted series and documentaries scheduled to debut on Discovery Channel, Facebook Watch, HBO and National Geographic.

Facebook Watch is readying to plate the series premiere of Asylum Entertainment’s interactive entrepreneurial series Big Chicken Shaq.

Big Chicken Shaq follows retired NBA legend and current Inside the NBA sports analyst Shaquille O’Neal as he opens his new Las Vegas restaurant, Big Chicken, while providing viewers with the opportunity to shape the eatery through real-time engagement on the platform. The series also reveals how Shaq balances his personal and business lives.

Big Chicken Shaq debuts with two new episodes on Oct. 6 on the Facebook VOD service. Ensuing episodes will air on Saturdays this fall.


Elsewhere, Discovery’s flagship channel will present the television premiere of Academy Award-nominated director Rory Kennedy’s documentary Above And Beyond: NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow on Oct. 13.

The 90-minute film takes a sweeping look at U.S. government space agency NASA in celebration of its 60th anniversary, recognizing highlights from the organization’s history and shining a spotlight on the role it will play in the coming decades. The film additionally provides an exclusive look into the agency while detailing such new technologies as next-generation space telescopes and prototypes of Mars-bound spacecraft. Above And Beyond: NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow launches Oct. 13 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery and Science Channel.

National Geographic, meanwhile, is preparing a two-hour special that will examine the high-stakes world of protecting the U.S. president at home and around the world.

With exclusive access to four Secret Service special missions, United States Secret Service: On the Front Line features interviews with current and former agents, as well as journalists, who offer first-person accounts of close calls and matters of national security that have shaped the protective strategy of the agency. Chronicled in the project are key Secret Service divisions including Protective Operations, Dignitary Protection Division, Special Ops and the Protective Intelligence Division.

The National Geographic Studios-produced series airs Oct. 14 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on National Geographic.

Finally, Rudy Valdez’s directorial debut, The Sentence (pictured), will enjoy its television debut when it airs across American premium cable network HBO on Oct. 15.

The 85-minute film, which held its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award, draws on hundreds of hours of footage over a 10-year period to tell the story of Cindy Shank, a Michigan woman who was sentenced to 15 years for conspiracy charges related to crimes committed by her deceased ex-boyfriend. The doc also follows Valdez, the brother of Shank, and his family as they struggle to obtain her release during the final months of the Obama administration’s clemency initiative.

The Sentence bows Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on HBO, and will also be available on HBO on Demand, HBO Now, HBO GO and partners’ streaming platforms.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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