10:31pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Clay Aiken's Congressional Bid to Be Esquire Docuseries
Esquire Network will go behind the scenes of Clay Aiken's failed congressional bid with a new docuseries.
The NBCUniversal-owned cable network announced late Tuesday — following Aiken's defeat in North Carolina — that camera crews have been documenting the American Idol alum's bid for a seat in the House.
The four-hour untitled docuseries, from Academy Award winner Simon Chinn (Searching for Sugar Man, Man on Wire) and Emmy winner Jonathan Chinn (American High), will premiere in the first quarter of 2015. The Lightbox duo have been filming from inside Aiken's campaign since his February candidacy announcement, through the May primary and Tuesday's final results.
Aiken, a gay Democrat and single dad, ran against incumbent Congresswoman Renee Ellmers in the predominantly Republican North Carolina 2nd District. Via strategy meetings, debate prep, town halls, bus tours and door-to-door canvassing, the docuseries will provide an intimate look at the hope of victory and, ultimately, the disappointment of defeat.
"We were granted incredible access during the making of this documentary, and in turn were able to capture the internal workings of an American campaign — the good, the bad and the ugly," Simon Chinn said. Added Jonathan Chinn: "We’re thrilled to be partnering with Esquire Network, who are tackling topics that are not only popular and entertaining but also smart and thoughtful."
"Ultimately, this series is a raw and honest look at American politics through an incredibly unique and compelling candidate," said Esquire Network head of original programming Matt Hanna. "The opportunity to work with amazing documentarians Simon and Jonathan Chinn, gave Esquire Network the perfect opportunity to explore politics and its intersection with celebrity."
The untitled series is produced by Lightbox's Jonathan Chinn, Simon Chinn and Mitchell Tanen.