In this week’s roundup, new unscripted series and documentaries are scheduled to debut across HBO, Science Channel and Oxygen Media.
Discovery, Inc.-owned network Science Channel is gearing up to launch a prank series that utilizes cutting-edge science as the foundation of each practical joke.
SciJinks will feature The Big Bang Theory actor Johnny Galecki working alongside “prankologists” Tamara Robertson and Jason Latimer to craft a series of stunts and pranks through unusual scientific discoveries that draw from the fields of chemistry, physics, technology and engineering. Produced by Galecki’s Alcide Bava Productions and A. Smith & Co. Productions, the 8 x 30-minute prank series debuts May 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Science Channel.
Elsewhere, Greg Barker’s intimate feature-length documentary The Final Year (pictured) is slated to premiere across the premium cable network HBO on May 21 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Produced by Passion Pictures and Motto Pictures, the 89-minute film captures exclusive access to key members of outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama’s foreign policy team during their last year in office and pulls the curtain back on the inner workings of the Obama administration as it establishes a legacy in preparation of departing office after eight years. The Final Year held its world premiere at the 43rd annual Toronto International Film Festival. The film will also be available on HBO on Demand, HBO Now, HBO Go and partners’ streaming platforms.
HBO is also preparing to broadcast a documentary about Arizona Senator John McCain from New York-based Kunhardt Films.
John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls will profile the six-term senior senator after more than 31 years of public service following a brain cancer diagnosis. The film will provide exclusive access to McCain’s daily life in Washington, DC and Sedona, Arizona, and features interviews with family, friends, colleagues and leading political figures including former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and Henry Kissinger.
John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls airs across HBO on May 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and is produced and directed by six-time Emmy winner Peter Kunhardt, along with Emmy winners George Kunhardt and Teddy Kunhardt.
Finally, NBC Universal-owned, crime-focused network Oxygen Media is readying the psychological true crime series In Defense Of from Magical Elves.
The series, which premieres June 23 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on Oxygen, explores the complex relationships between notorious defendants and the attorneys who represented them. Four hour-long episodes will provide viewers with first-hand accounts on each case while revealing personal moments between attorney and client. Featured cases featured in the series will be Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, convicted killer Jodi Arias, Branch Davidians member Clive Doyle and infamous serial killer Ted Bundy.