CNN Orders W. Kamau Bell Series, Steve Jobs Doc for 2016

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W. Kamau Bell

The network also announced Reza Aslan's faith-exploration series and docs spotlighting Carl Boenish, James Arthur Ray and Jeremiah Tower and deadly viruses.

CNN is adding a few new names to its slate of original programming.

The network has ordered two new series, it announced Tuesday, in advance of its May Upfront Presentation in New York City. One is United Shades of America, in which comedian W. Kamau Bell travels the country to explore various communities. The Objective Production series "will strive to show the United States is not built upon just one, but many diverse and colorful definitions of America."

The network has also ordered Believer, a "spiritual adventure series" from Whalerock Industries, in which New York Times best-selling author Reza Aslan will immerse himself in various faith-based groups by participating in worship, rituals and rites of passage to learn about the worlds molded by faith and tradition.

The new 2016 offerings join the previously-announced docuseries Race for the White House with Kevin Spacey.

Additionally, CNN will premiere five new documentaries in 2016, each a co-production with CNN Films and is expected to premiere in theaters prior to their broadcasts.

Among them are Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, the biographical doc of the Apple founder by Alex Gibney, which will premiere at SXSW on March 14; Unseen Enemy, Janet Tobias' doc on virulent viruses and bacteria that could generate the next global pandemic; and Sunshine Superman, Marah Strauch's portrait of "the father of BASE jumping," Carl Boenish.

The other two titles are a doc on controversial self-help boldface James Arthur Ray by Jenny Carchman, and Lydia Tengalia's look at chef Jeremiah Tower, who founded San Francisco’s legendary Stars restaurant in 1985 and is the new executive chef of New York's Tavern on the Green.

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