Showtime Orders Docuseries About Online Cults, Porn Addiction

The eight-episode series will also tackle themes of cyber-kidnapping, biohacking, online cults and the webcam sex trade.

Showtime is headed for the Internet's underbelly.

On Jan. 21, the premium network will debut eight-part docuseries Dark Net, which is being billed “a revelatory, at times jaw-dropping [series that explores] the netherworld where virtual and physical lives collide in ways surprising, disturbing and seemingly inevitable.” Each half-hour episode is expected to hit on themes including biohacking, cyber-kidnapping, digital warfare, online cults, pornography addiction and the webcam sex trade.

Originally used as a secret space for the intelligence community, the "dark web" is now being exploited by a dangerous underworld of cyber criminals. Imprisoned hackers, for instance, surreptitiously surf alongside bondage fetishists and life-tracking disciples. The docuseries is likely to spur thought-provoking conversations about technology and privacy.

Showtime chief David Nevins has long been vocal about his desire to have his program inspire discussion outside of the TV room. Other Showtime docuseries during his tenure include Years of Living Dangerously, a star-studded series from James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the late Jerry Weintraub about climate change.  

Dark Net is produced by Vocativ, a tech and media firm that applies exclusive proprietary technology to search and monitor the deep web — or the 80 percent of the Internet that lies beyond the reach of regular search engines. The series was created by Vocativ Founder Mati Kochavi, and is being executive produced by Danna Rabin and Vivian Schiller for Vocativ and David Shadrack Smith for part2 pictures.