10:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
HBO Max Sets First CNN Originals Slate Complete With New Alex Gibney Docuseries
HBO Max is continuing to build out its aggressive slate.
On Thursday, the forthcoming WarnerMedia-backed streaming platform unveiled its first slate of programming from CNN. Ordered to series are CNN Original Series-produced docuseries Heaven's Gate and Generation Hustle and CNN Films offerings The Scoop and Persona.
"We are tremendously inspired by CNN's history of award-winning documentary storytelling and journalistic integrity," said Sarah Aubrey, head of originals at HBO Max. "This slate of projects with CNN demonstrates our power as a media family to create quality programming that covers the captivating and critical issues of today."
The news that CNN would provide programming for HBO Max comes as little surprise, as the subscription platform (expected to cost around $15 monthly) will be a home for content from within the WarnerMedia portfolio, including TBS, TNT and HBO. What's more, CNN's Lizzie Fox joined HBO Max as senior vp nonfiction and is helping to program the platform after overseeing Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and United Shades of America, among others for the news-focused cabler.
"We are so pleased to produce original nonfiction projects with HBO Max and to release new content from CNN Films and CNN Original Series via a streaming partner that complements our brands and creative goals," said Amy Entelis, executive vp talent and content development at CNN Worldwide. "We look forward to partnering on future projects as well."
The four projects add to a rapidly growing roster of unscripted fare at HBO Max, joining a Lisa Ling docuseries; a travel and fashion show featuring Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti; a home design series from Ellen DeGeneres; and LGBTQ-focused entry Equal from Greg Berlanti and Jim Parsons, among others.
Here are details about all four CNN-backed projects.
Heaven's Gate is a four-part series that explores the infamous religious movement and the stranger-than-fiction circumstances that culminated in the biggest mass suicide to ever take place on U.S. soil. It is a raw, honest depiction of the shared experiences of those directly involved with the group and those closely affected by it. Directed and executive produced by Clay Tweel, Heaven's Gate is produced by Campfire, the scripted and nonfiction production company from Ross Dinerstein (The Innocent Man), along with Chris Bannon, Eric Spiegelman, Peter Clowney and Erik Diehn for the digital media company Stitcher (Heaven's Gate podcast, Sold in America podcast).
Generation Hustle is a 10-part series about the lengths young people will go to for fame, fortune and power. From Alex Gibney's Jigsaw Productions (The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley), the series will be executive produced by Yon Motskin, Stacey Offman and Richard Perello.
The Scoop is a documentary feature that follows the lives of CNN's fearless female political reporters as they cover the most unpredictable presidential campaign in American history. This behind-the- scenes doc draws from unprecedented access to the campaign press corps and reveals how these powerhouse political reporters deal with the candidates as well as with the challenges of life on the road.
Persona is a documentary feature that explores the unexpected origin story of America's obsession with personality testing. Embedded in everything from dating sites to job applications, Persona reveals the profound ways personality testing has formed and influenced the world around us.