Warren Buffett, the Dalai Lama, Madeline Albright and Steven Soderbergh are making a trip to primetime TV – and it’s not for a special hosted by Barbara Walters. The quartet will appear, along with other hard-to-reach luminaries as part of a new six-episode series slated for Bloomberg’s business-focused cable network.
“Big Problems. Big Thinkers.” will focus on some of the era’s biggest challenges – including climate change, the economy and the measurement of success – and ask the various “thinkers” how they might try to overcome them. Other topics to be covered include the threat of nuclear war and the effects of over-farming. Terre Blair, who directed the series, spent six hours alone with Buffett to elicit his thoughts. Cisco has been enlisted in a marketing partnership around the series.
“I developed the idea to travel the world and interview world leaders and cutting-edge thinkers on one question: What could humanity agree upon to assure its survival?” said Blair, in an interview.
The series is slated to be unveiled Monday at a Bloomberg presentation at the “New Fronts,” a series of pitches by media companies to advertisers interested by digital media. Bloomberg is also expected to tout its global reach through its digital-news platform along with the fall launch of Bloomberg Technology, a content vertical expected to debut in the fall.
The first three episodes of “Big Problems, Big Thinkers” are scheduled to debut in June, said Jacki Kelley, Bloomberg Media’s chief operating officer. The remaining three will surface at later times, she said. Bloomberg also has digital-video rights to the series and Cisco will have customized video ads that discuss its sponsorship of the series.
The company is announcing the launch of several video series as well. “Walk The Talk” will focus on gender equality and women in executive leadership, and will feature data from a new “Gender Equality Index” found in the company’s flagship terminal. “Success By Design” will focus on the business of luxury. Bloomberg has since 2012 distributed “Bloomberg Pursuits,” a publication focused on leisure-time activity and lifestyle. “Peer to Peer,” hosted by financier David Rubenstein, looks to find “rare insider stories” from leadership guests.