×

Reddit, Conde Nast Launch ‘Cyborg Nation’ Documentary Series

Conde Nast Entertainment and Reddit are launching six-part documentary series “Cyborg Nation,” exploring the bleeding edge of human-technology interfaces, in the discussion community site’s first entertainment deal.

The series is slated to premiere Wednesday on Wired’s channel on The Scene, CNÉ’s digital video hub. Each episode, about 5 minutes in length, is hosted by Derek Muller, creator of the YouTube Veritasium science channel.

Topics for “Cyborg Nation,” including profiles of bionic-legged rock climber Hugh Herr and SynTouch, the first company to produce a mechanical sensor that replicates human touch (pictured above), were recommended by members of the r/Futurology subreddit, according to Alexis Ohanian, Reddit’s co-founder and executive chairman.

“The hundreds of thousands of communities of Reddit generate more original ideas in one day than the world’s best newsroom could produce in a lifetime,” Ohanian said.

Condé Nast acquired Reddit in 2006 but spun it off in 2011. Advance Publications, Conde Nast’s parent company, remains Reddit’s majority shareholder.

For Conde Nast, the deal with Reddit was a great fit with the future-focused spin of Wired, said Michael Klein, CNÉ’s executive VP of programming and content strategy for digital channels. Plus, “there’s a huge audience” on Reddit, he said, which ideally will drive discussion about and viewing of the series. Following the launch of “Cyborg Nation,” the companies will host a series of Reddit AMAs (“as me anything” Q&A sessions) with some of the profile subjects, with those to yet to be confirmed.

Reddit, founded in 2005, recently has enforced stricter limits on the site’s open, freewheeling culture. Interim CEO Ellen Pao resigned this summer, after attacks directed toward her following the firing of a popular Reddit manager. Co-founder Steve Huffman stepped in as CEO and subsequently issued new content guidelines prohibiting harassment, illegal activity and other objectionable behavior.

Klein said he wasn’t concerned about the Reddit controversies. “I know there’s a happy, engaged community at Reddit,” he said.

“Cyborg Nation” was produced by creative agency Acres New York. The series is executive produced by Ohanian, Acres’ Andrew Simkiss and Matt McLaughlin, Reddit’s Michael Pope and CNÉ’s Rachel Samuels.

Other episodes in the series cover “cyber roaches” that can be used to find survivors in earthquake rubble; brain-computer interface technologies; and exoskeleton robots that help people recovering from strokes or spinal-cord injuries walk again.

 

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • BuzzFeed - Katie Sitter

    BuzzFeed Taps Activision Blizzard's Katie Sitter as Head of HR (EXCLUSIVE)

    BuzzFeed hired Katie Sitter, most recently an HR exec at Activision Blizzard, as senior VP of people. Sitter, who starts at the company Sept. 30, will lead the BuzzFeed HR organization and oversee strategic initiatives related to organizational planning, talent acquisition, learning and development, performance management, compensation and benefits, labor relations, and diversity, equity, and [...]

  • Kano

    Kano Tipped to Launch ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Frozen’ Coding Kits

    Educational consumer electronics startup Kano is getting ready to release “Star Wars” and “Frozen” coding kits, according to regulatory filings. Recent FCC filings made by the company reveal plans to release a product called “The Force Coding Kit” as well as one called “The Disney Frozen Coding Kit.” Kano representatives didn’t respond to multiple requests [...]

  • Apple Arcade

    Apple Officially Launches Apple Arcade Game Subscription Service

    Apple officially cut the ribbon for its new game subscription service Thursday: Priced $4.99 per month, Apple Arcade offers unlimited access to over 100 exclusive games. Apple Arcade was released alongside iOS 13, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. Some of the titles available through the subscription package include “Lego Brawls” from Lego [...]

  • Kim Kardashian Kim Kardashian out and

    Nielsen Now Tracks Celebs' Social-Media Touts of TV Shows

    Nielsen is providing a new lens into how celebrities and talent can boost the exposure of TV shows on social media. The measurement company announced that its Social Content Ratings solution now measures talent promotion of television programs across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. According to Nielsen, talent now drives nearly 60% of all social engagement [...]

  • Homecoming

    Peak Storytelling Here as Podcasts, Short Form Ride New Wave

    The concept of peak TV is nothing new. But scratch the surface of original content these days, and it’s no longer about television — from podcasts and short-form video, storytelling itself is at a peak. Thanks to audio, video and other new platform companies including Gimlet, Quibi, Wondery, iHeartMedia and Serial Box, listeners and viewers [...]

  • Roku Express 2019

    Roku Launches New Streaming Devices, Doubles Down on Content Curation

    As every year, Roku is going into the holiday shopping season with a handful of new devices: The company unveiled a revamped $30 entry-level Roku Express streaming device as well as new version of its $100 Roku Ultra streamer Thursday. Additionally, Roku also announced a new version of its software platform that puts a bigger [...]

  • Paradiso

    New Podcast Studio Paradiso Launches With Series for Spotify, Sybel (EXCLUSIVE)

    Former executives from Canal Plus, entertainment company Konbini and advertising film Havas have joined forces to launch Paradiso, an international podcast production studio dedicated to delivering premium scripted, documentary and kids’ content for global platforms. The company has already scored commissions from Spotify and Sybel. Paradiso’s founding partners are Lorenzo Benedetti, the founder of Studio [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content