W. Kamau Bell’s ‘United Shades of America’ Gets Second-Season Nod on CNN

Courtesy of CNN

W. Kamau Bell will return to CNN for a second season of his pointed but humorous travelogue series “United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell,” according to the Time Warner-owned cable-news outlet.

The second cycle of the series will consist of eight episodes and continue to follow the activist and comedian as he explores different communities in the U.S. and investigates race and other topics. The series, which was nominated for an Emmy and a TCA Award in its first season, will return to CNN in the Spring of 2017. Each hour-long episode attempts to depict a country that is built upon many different definitions of what it’s like to live in America. A memorable episode from the first cycle had the African-American comedian meeting up with members of the Ku Klux Klan.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to work with CNN on more episodes of ‘United Shades of America.’ CNN has been unbelievably supportive of me and what I am trying to do with the show.  I have been amazed and at times overwhelmed to witness the effect the show has had on people,” Bell said in a statement. ” I travel a lot as stand-up comic, and everywhere I go, people ask me when we’ll be back for season two.  I think now, more than ever, people realize that we need more platforms that demonstrate how to have productive, respectful, enlightening, and funny conversations. Also hoping now that we have a second season, I can finally meet Anthony Bourdain.”




CNN said the show ranked first among adults between 25 and 54 – the demographic most coveted by sponsors of news programming – and attracted the youngest audience across cable news in its time period. CNN is part of Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting unit.

“We are beyond thrilled with the positive response ‘United Shades of America’ received in its freshman season,” said Amy Entelis, CNN Worldwide’s executive vice president of talent and content development, in a statement.  “Kamau has an unparalleled ability to use his natural curiosity and sense of humor to ignite necessary and sometimes tough conversations around race and society in this country.”

The series is produced by Objective Media Group/All3Media America with Bell, Jimmy Fox, Greg Lipstone and Layla Smith serving as executive producers.

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  1. Pamela L. Fray says:

    I’ll be the first to comment! No problem! Without ever meeting the man, I absolutely adore Mr. W. Kamau Bell! I’m sure the timing of my comment seems odd, but, I just happened to notice, a couple of days ago, that a repeat of an episode of “United Shades of America”, that I had originally missed somehow, was going to air. I set my DVR, and watched the episode early this morning, 12/6/16. It was the Daytona Beach spring break/Lake Ashton retiree community episode. I just SO enjoyed Mr. Bell’s USoA series, and while searching for some very simple, non-overly intrusive info on Mr. Bell (age, HEIGHT, photo of family), I did notice the info that his USoA would return this year. I was very happy to see that, and, by the way, his family is absolutely beautiful!! I am one of the 2-3 people in this world that are not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., so, it took me awhile to notice the info about the return of his show. While watching my recording of his past episode this morning, I finally did decide to Google his name, mainly to find out his size (I had guessed 6’5″), but I just SO enjoyed watching him, especially at Lake Ashton with the 55+ crowd. He, like me, seemed to be much more attracted to that lifestyle over the spring break “fiasco” lifestyle. Unlike me, Mr. Bell is still a bit young for the Lake Ashton community, and, most likely, other retiree communities, but, LIKE me, seems to believe that lifestyle would fit him, and his family I assume, JUST FINE!! I happen to be 55 yrs old exactly, unfortunately separated at this time, and, if it matters, a white woman from Rockford, IL, approx. 90 mins from downtown Chicago. I do have 1 interracial marraige within my family and a cousin from that marriage that I consider a great friend. I always love the feeling that Mr. Bell gives me, as far as him seeming like a person I could sit down and have a very open and honest conversation with regarding race relations. My 2 young granddaughters have numerous best friends in school, black and white, and just see human beings, not skin color. My daughter and I speak often of it to friends and family, but never in front of the girls, praying it always stays as innocent for them in the future, as it is now. I’m sorry I’ve gone on too long, but I truly do enjoy the “challenges” Mr. Bell takes on in United Shades. I especially enjoyed the Florida episode that made me laugh out loud a few times as I viewed it at 4:00 a.m. this morning. Thank you Mr. Bell. Thank you for your openness in this series to try and show us all as simply “human beings”. Pamela Fray-Rockford, IL

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