10:00am PT by Rick Porter
Lisa Ling, Dan Rather to Produce HBO Max Docuseries
CNN's Lisa Ling is expanding her relationship with the news network's parent company, WarnerMedia.
The journalist and host of CNN's This Is Life has signed an overall deal with HBO Max. As part of the deal, HBO Max has ordered a docuseries called Birth, Wedding, Funeral, which Ling is executive producing with Dan Rather. The series will explore a different region's culture through the lens of the three universal rituals in the series' title.
The streaming platform, set to launch in spring 2020, will have a first look at projects Ling develops.
“We are living in a deeply polarized world and I am elated for the opportunity to bring us closer to one another through stories about the most defining moments in people’s lives: their births, weddings and funerals,” said Ling.
Added HBO Max executive vp original content, Jennifer O'Connell, "As part of the CNN family, Lisa has carved out a unique space for herself using her style of gritty, investigative journalism to drive at the heart of every human story she tells. Birth, Wedding, Funeral takes audiences on a global journey through a range of societies, exploring the rituals around three critical life events, and we are eager to bring this illuminating storytelling to our HBO Max audience."
Part2 Pictures produces the series, with Ling, Rather and Philip Kim of Rather's company News and Guts executive producing. Rather, Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupre created the concept for the series.
"Over the course of my many travels, I have always welcomed the chance to learn about the world's varied cultures through how they experience life's most intimate and transformative benchmarks," said Rather. "I am thrilled that Lisa, a skilled and compassionate storyteller, will bring these moments into our homes and allow us to renew our faith in the common bonds of humanity."
Birth, Wedding, Funeral joins a slate of nonfiction originals at HBO Max that includes documentary 15 Minutes of Shame, executive produced by Monica Lewinsky; LGBTQ+ docuseries Equal, from Greg Berlanti and Jim Parsons; and unscripted series Ellen's Home Design Challenge, The Greatest Space and Legendary, among others.