CNN Orders Three New Series From Producers Dwayne Johnson, Sean Hayes and Tom Hanks

Dwayne Johnson, Sean Hayes and Tom Hanks_Split - Getty - H 2016
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Dwayne Johnson, Sean Hayes and Tom Hanks_Split - Getty - H 2016

CNN is expanding its originals slate with three new unscripted series that count Dwayne Johnson, Sean Hayes and Tom Hanks among their executive producers, it was announced Wednesday.

Each eight-part series — Soundtracks: Songs That Made History, The History of Comedy and The Nineties — will launch in 2017, joining the previously announced spiritual adventure series Believer With Reza Aslan.

Soundtracks (working title) will explore the music tied to iconic moments in history. From the March on Washington to the riots at Stonewall to the moon landing to Hurricane Katrina, each episode of the series will cover a tragedy, triumph or the start of a movement — and the music that came to define it. Produced by Show of Force and Seven Bucks Productions, the project will be executive produced by Johnson, Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia and Brian Gewirtz.

The History of Comedy will explore what makes people laugh — from the Ancient Greeks to Shakespeare to vaudeville to the biggest contemporary comedians, movies and TV shows. It will dig deep into political humor and slapstick, using archival footage, original comedic material and interviews with comedy legends. Hayes and Todd Milliner (Hazy Mills) will executive produce, alongside Mark Herzog and Christopher G. Cowen (Herzog & Company).

The Nineties follows in the footsteps CNN's previous decade series The Sixties, The Seventies and The Eighties. Executive produced by Hanks and Gary Goetzman in association with HBO and Herzog, the series will highlight cultural and political milestones that defined the decade — from the birth of the internet to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

CNN's 2017 slate also will feature new seasons of its returning original series, including Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, This Is Life With Lisa Ling, The Hunt With John Walsh, Death Row Stories, The Wonder List With Bill Weir and Finding Jesus. Among the network's current lineup is United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell, Morgan Spurlock Inside Man, The Eighties and Declassified: Untold Stories of American Spies.