CNN’s 2017/18 slate highlights American history

Turner-owned network CNN has released its programming slate for 2017-2018, highlighting pivotal moments and the people who helped shape America. Five new original series unveiled at the Upfronts include: Detroit 1963: Once ...
May 17, 2017

Turner-owned network CNN has released its programming slate for 2017-2018, highlighting pivotal moments and the people who helped shape America.

Five new original series unveiled at the Upfronts include:

Detroit 1963: Once in a Great City (w/t)

Executive produced by Emmy winners Anthony Bourdain and Lydia Tenaglia, this four-part series about the city of Detroit at its high point when the auto industry was the envy of the world and Motown ruled the airwaves. The docuseries, produced by Zero Point Zero, will take viewers back to a time when people believed in the power and goodness of big corporations, had high hopes for racial parity and looked to institutions like unions and the government to solve their problems.

American Heiress: The Patty Hearst Story

From executive producer Jeffrey Toobin and Bat Bridge Entertainment comes a six-part series that follows the transformation of Patricia Hearst from heiress to terrorist in a saga of privilege, celebrity, politics, media, and violence. More than 40 years since the kidnapping, new evidence sheds light on the facts surrounding one of the most bizarre stories in modern American history. The docuseries is based on Toobin’s book, American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst.

1968: The Year That Changed America (w/t)

From Emmy-winning executive producers Tom Hanks, Gary Goeztman, Kirk Sudaski (Playtone) and Mark Herzog and Christopher G. Cowen (Herzog & Company) comes a four-part series that looks back to 1968, a year marked by seismic shifts in American politics, social movements, global relations and cultural icons who forever changed the modern day landscape. The docuseries maps the year’s tumultuous events, including the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, escalating anti-Vietnam War sentiment and beyond.

Kennedys: An American Dynasty (w/t)

From Raw TV, this is a six-part series that takes viewers to the heart of America’s ‘First Family,’ revealing how personal relationships within the dynasty helped shaped national and global events from the Cold War to the Wall Street crash. The docuseries spans the life of patriarch Joseph “Joe” Kennedy and his children uncovering how one family significantly shaped 20th Century America. Louise Norman and Eamon Hardy serve as executive producers.

Pope (w/t)

From Nancy Glass Productions and Rearrange TV comes a six-part series that goes inside the Vatican to reveal the true power held by popes throughout the ages. The docuseries will explore how 12 apostles became 1.2 billion Catholics today, linking recent news events surrounding the Vatican with their unexpected origins. Nancy Glass and Randy Cousman serve as executive producers.

Unmasking A Killer

Ten years in the making, the five-part series for HLN (a spin-off of CNN)  takes viewers inside the investigation, the case files and the mind of The Golden State Killer – a man believed to be the most prolific uncaught rapist and serial killer in the nation. With cooperation from law enforcement and survivors, the docuseries will examine the historical and social ramifications of killer’s reign of terror, explore the advances in forensic technology, and highlight the legal changes to our justice system that his crime spree spurred. Unmasking A Killer is executive produced by Joke Fincioen and Biagio Messina of Joke Productions, with supervising producer Todd Lindsey and will debut in the first quarter of 2018.

CNN’s 2017/2018 programming slate will also feature new seasons of the Peabody and Emmy-winning Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (Zero Point Zero); Emmy-nominated United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell (Main Event Media/All3Media America); This is Life with Lisa Ling (part 2); The History of Comedy (Hazy Mills/Herzog & Company); Believer with Reza Aslan (Whalerock Industries); The Wonder List with Bill Weir (CNN) and The Hunt with John Walsh (Zero Point Zero).

Image: Richard Sears in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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 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.