HBO orders slice of ‘Vice’

Cabler partners up to produce newsmag

HBO has greenlit weekly newsmagazine “Vice,” which it has been developing through a partnership with the budding multimedia brand of the same name.

Longtime HBO personality Bill Maher will exec produce with Vice founder Shane Smith and Vice chief creative officer Eddy Moretti. CNN’s Fareed Zakaria will serve as consultant.

“Vice has emerged as a premier new media brand through a savvy combination of irreverence, smarts and fearlessness,” said HBO programming prexy Michael Lombardo. “We are excited to offer a forum for their groundbreaking style of news coverage and look forward to a show that’s like nothing else on TV.”

The new program will showcase a mix of stories from around the globe. Already in consideration for air are stories on Taliban child suicide bombers, North Korean slave labor camps, New York’s underground voodoo heroin clinics, Somalian pirates and Satanic dentists in the Pacific Northwest.

The youth entertainment company has a reach of more than 30 countries and, in addition to television production, encompasses online video, a print magazine, a record label, in-house creative services, book publishing and digital channels.

Former Viacom CEO Tom Freston, who oversaw the evolution of MTV, is an advisor to Vice.

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