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.