Extra: Higher Ground’s “The G Word” set for May debut; Norway takes “Drag Me Out”

The G Word from Obama-led Higher Ground sets Netflix premiere date The latest Netflix project from Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions, The G Word with Adam Conover, will debut ...
April 21, 2022

The G Word from Obama-led Higher Ground sets Netflix premiere date

The latest Netflix project from Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions, The G Word with Adam Conover, will debut on the streamer on May 19.

First announced in late 2020, the series features Conover (pictured), star of the truTV educational comedy series Adam Ruins Everything and host of the Nickelodeon family game show The Crystal Maze, exploring the many surprising ways that the U.S. government affects the lives of ordinary Americans.

The series is inspired by the 2018 bestseller The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy by Moneyball and The Big Short author Michael Lewis, which investigated the impact of the Trump administration’s political appointments to three government agencies.

The G Word with Adam Conover is produced by Higher Ground Productions along with Conover, Jon Cohen, and former Adam Ruins Everything executive producer Jon Wolf.

Banijay licenses first international version of hit Danish format Drag Me Out

Banijay has licensed the first international adaptation of the drag competition format Drag Me Out to Nordisk Film TV Norway, which is commencing production on the series now for broadcast on TVNorge and Discovery+.

The original version of the format was created by Banijay’s Mastiff Denmark unit, and premiered on Denmark’s TV 2 Zulu last summer. The series pits two local celebrities against each other in a drag contest, for which they will be coached by professional drag mentors who will not only teach them the finer points of the discipline, but also draw out personal stories about their pasts.

Each episode culminates in a talent showdown in which the celebs will flaunt what they’ve got, and an expert panel will crown the week’s winner.

“We can’t wait to spotlight LGBTQ+ culture with enthusiastic celebrities eager to turn gender on its head and fully embrace their inner drag,” said Erlend Hernø Røeggen, managing director at Nordisk Film TV Norway, in a news release. “The beauty of this series is the combination of emotional stories, amazing makeovers and crazy stage performances. Bold, refreshing and iconic, this is the perfect format to add to our slate.”

BritBox to launch in the Nordic regions on April 28

Following earlier international launches in the U.S., Canada, Australia and South Africa, the BBC–ITV streaming service BritBox will make its debut in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland on April 28.

The streamer will offer thousand of hours of scripted and unscripted content, combining classic British television with original BritBox productions. In addition to lifestyle standbys like the current season of MasterChef UK, new factual titles slated to debut in the Nordics in the coming year include the docuseries Idris Elba’s Fight School, in which the BAFTA-winning actor takes eight young people from disadvantaged backgrounds under his wing to help them build better lives through boxing; and the feature doc Hollywood Bulldogs: The Rise and Falls of the Great British Stuntmen, about the Brit-born daredevils who doubled for the stars in some of the biggest blockbusters of the 1970s and ’80s.

“We know that Nordic viewers are huge fans of British TV, and we’re sure they’ll be hooked on the content we’ll be including in BritBox from launch,” said Neale Dennett, new markets launch director for BritBox International.

PBS web series Historian’s Take explores representation of diverse communities in pop culture

PBS Digital Studios is launching a new web series, Historian’s Take, on the pubcaster’s digital platform PBS Origins, a themed YouTube channel that foregrounds inclusive and intersectional content from BIPOC creators.

Hosted by Northwestern University professor Danielle Bainbridge, journalist and documentarian Dolly Li and poet and historian Adrian De Leon, the series unpacks the cultural assumptions, stereotypes and biases that feed into the representation of diverse communities in film, TV and pop culture.

The first episode, which premiered on April 11, focuses on the trope of “Blaccent,” the fabricated accent used to lampoon African American vernacular. Later installments will explore such phenomena as the ’70s Blaxploitation genre, the figure of the “Asian hunk” and depictions of pansexual characters in film and television.

Historian’s Take is produced for PBS Digital Studios by Plum Studios and the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). For CAAM, Stephen Gong and Donald Young serve as executive producers on the series, Sapana Sakya is supervising producer and Czarina Garcia is coordinating producer. For PBS Digital Studios, Maribel Lopez is executive in charge and Gabrielle Ewing is director of programming.

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