News Series 'ASPIREist' to Tell Issue-Based Stories

ASPIREist YouTube - H 2016
Courtesy of ASPIREist

The half-hour series will feature guests including George Clooney and Moby.

Soon-to-launch news show ASPIREist is taking a multiplatform approach when it debuts Sunday, April 3.

The show, which is being produced by a pair of 60 Minutes veterans and will focus on issues that matter to today's young people, will launch on Flipboard, Facebook and YouTube. It also will air as a time buy on USA Network. Each segment of every half-hour episode also will be clipped for easy social sharing and will feature a call to action for viewers in an effort to spread the word about the issues that ASPIREist will highlight.

ASPIREist was conceived by online-advertising veteran Neal Weinberg and screenwriter Michal Zebede (The Humbling, Castle) as a feature news show focused on the issues that matter to viewers. Former 60 Minutes producers Shawn Efran and Solly Granatstein are producing the four-part series out of New York.

"ASPIREist is about finding those unique individuals who are aspiring to know more, do more and truly change our world," said Weinberg. "We've attempted to reinvent the typical news show by pulling back the curtain on the new digital newsrooms taking shape today. Our ultimate goal is to allow young people to discover, consume and immediately take action on the stories they care about across all platforms, combining the power of old and new media."

ASPIREist has tapped six hosts who each specialize in tackling different global issues. Women's-rights activist Shiza Shahid is the co-founder of The Malala Fund; CNN special correspondent Philippe Cousteau Jr., the grandson of Jacques Cousteau, has focused his work on environmental issues; Seth Maxwell founded Thirst Project to provide more access to clean drinking water; model Geena Rocero advocates for transgender rights through her production company, Gender Proud; singer-songwriter Debi Nova worked with the U.N. on its campaign to end violence against women; and poet Clint Smith teaches education at Harvard University.

ASPIREist, which will consist of three separate news segments each episode, will include interviews with George Clooney, Moby, Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder about issues close to them.

Each episode will be accompanied by a custom Flipboard digital magazine that offers more information about the stories that were shared. "The ASPIREist program format and talent is pioneering storytelling, creating a news program that tackles big questions through televised stories and combines it with rich, supporting online Flipboard magazines," said Carolyn Weyforth Glanville, head of partner marketing at Flipboard. "This is a powerful way to use Flipboard and one that we hope inspires people to find their passion and take action."

ASPIREist premieres Sunday, April 3. New episodes will be available each Sunday for four weeks.

March 25, 10:35 p.m. Corrected to reflect that the series will air as time buy on USA.