July 30, 2013 6:13pm PT by Lacey Rose
Showtime Prepping Death-Themed Doc Series for Fall
Showtime is taking viewers to a dark place.
The premium cable network has ordered a documentary series titled Time of Death, which will follow brave, terminally ill individuals as they live out their final days, supported by family, friends, health-care teams and hospice workers, who gently help guide the process. The unflinching, in-depth look at death will air in six parts and is in postproduction for a fall debut.
“This Showtime documentary series is an examination of people in the last days and weeks of their life and how they and their families make the transition from life to death,” said Showtime entertainment president David Nevins, adding: “This is not an easy show, but it is a subject I’ve always wanted to be able to explore in detail. And I know it will make for a powerful and compelling viewing experience.”
The doc series hails from Magical Elves' Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz (Top Chef, Fashion Star), who will weave together a series of complex stories: a single mother of three with Stage IV breast cancer; a grandmother with inoperable pancreatic cancer who also is a psychotherapist who specializes in the field of death and dying; a veteran with a rare cancer facing the end with his parents beside him; and a young woman with Stage IV melanoma, among others.
"Time of Death has been one of the most intense and thought-provoking experiences of our careers. Nobody ever talked about death in our halls before – but now there is a much more open dialogue, and it's healthy and meaningful and we hope we can pass that experience on to the viewer,” said Lipsitz, with Cutforth adding: “This is a series about death, but it’s also about life and living and humor and love. It’s a brave series to do, and we are thankful Showtime has given us the opportunity to tell these stories.“
Death marks a reunion for Showtime and the Elves, which worked together on the unscripted series The Real L Word. The companies are reteaming on another doc series that will explore lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life today in Middle America.