In this week’s roundup, we look at unscripted series and documentaries scheduled to debut on Discovery Channel, Netflix, Oxygen and CBC’s Documentary Channel.
Digital streaming giant Netflix is getting ready for the kick-off of its Sunderland ‘Til I Die set for Friday, Dec. 14.
Produced by James Corden’s Fulwell 73, the eight-part football-frenzied series will follow the professional English football club Sunderland AFC through the highs and lows of the team’s first season in the Championship, the second tier of English professional football, for the first time in 10 years following its relegation from the English Premier League – England’s top flight – at the end of the 2016/17 season.
Meanwhile, CBC’s Documentary Channel will provide the broadcast television premiere of veteran director Barry Lank’s feature-length documentary, Almost Almost Famous on Sunday, Dec. 16.
The 84-minute film explores the lives of three of the world’s top tribute artists, the costs of borrowed fame, and the risks of getting lost in the act. Featured in the film are members of the touring company “Class of ’59″: Elvis Presley impersonator Ted Torres; Lance Lipinsky, who rose to fame portraying Jerry Lee Lewis on HBO’s Vinyl; and Bobby Brooks, the tour’s Jackie Wilson. Produced by Winnipeg’s Merit Motion Pictures and Lank/Beach Productions in association with Documentary Channel, Almost Almost Famous debuts Dec. 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Elsewhere, Discovery Channel is revving up to the broadcast premiere of automotive non-scripted series Bad Chad Customs.
The Love Productions-made series will document master builder Chad Hiltz and his Green Goblin Customs team as they transform scrap metal from junkyards into outrageous and award-winning, functioning vehicles on a workingman’s budget. The series will also detail the evolving relationship between Hiltz, known as “Bad Chad”, and his son Colton, who spent limited time with his father growing up. Colton, however, now works with his father full-time as an apprentice, eager to learn the family business. Bad Chad Customs premieres New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery.
Finally, Oxygen Media, NBCUniversal’s true crime network for women, is gearing up to launch the two-hour documentary Dirty John: The Dirty Truth (pictured) in mid-January.
From Herzog & Company and Los Angeles Times Studios, the film will delve deep into the destructive life of con-man John Meehan through the eyes of the victims he manipulated and abused. With commentary from those closest to the case, and never-before released audio and archive, the doc will provide intimate insight into Meehan’s troubled past, his altercations with law enforcement, and features exclusive interviews with his first wife, Tonia Bales, and former girlfriends. Dirty John: The Dirty Truth airs Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Oxygen.