Pivot, the cable network backed by socially conscious production studio Participant Media, unveiled a new programming slate Thursday that emphasized documentary programming, even as it renewed an avant-garde variety series from actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

The network, which launched in 2013, follows a mission of running programming that engages viewers interested in social change.  Pivot has greenlit a new investigative series executive produced by Brian Knappenberger slated for the fourth quarter of 2015, added projects with Alex Gibney, Wyatt Cenac and Mark Bittman to its development slate, and will, on May 6, kick off a new Wednesday-night documentary programming block with the TV premiere of “Gardeners of Eden,” a look at the fate of elephantsexecutive produced by Kristin Davis.

The highlight of the network’s slate for unscripted series is the Knappenberger project, an as-yet-untitled investigative series that will put a spotlight on the “untold stories of people who defend human rights and call out institutional failures.” This ten-episode half-hour series will use research and investigation to follow a single story about the examination of abuses of power.  Brian Knappenberger is executive producer for Luminant Media. Jeff Skoll and Christy Spitzer serve as executive producers for Pivot.

The network said it has three unscripted series in development: an investigative food series from exec producer Alex Gibney; a project with comedian Wyatt Cenac; and an investigative food project from exec producers Ken Druckerman and Banks Tarver for Left/Right, Mark Bittman and Jesse Sweet.

The network also announced a new series, “The Secret Lives of Americans,” which will give viewers an unflinching look at individuals’ lives as they expose powerful secrets to the most important people in their lives. The series will be shot primarily by the subjects themselves. Eli Holzman, Stephen Lambert, and Danny Villa serve as executive producers for All3Media America. John Henshaw also serves as executive producer. Jeff Skoll and Christy Spitzer serve as executive producers for Pivot.


Pivot will debut a  new season of “Angry Planet,”the adventure series that pits George Kouronis against the effects of the Earth’s evolving climate. And it will mount a second season of  “Hit Record On TV with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.” The second season of the show, which puts a crowd-sourcing spin on the traditional variety-show format, will premiere on Pivot, Friday June 12 at 10 p.m. eastern.