Some of CNN’s best-known female political journalists may find themselves inadvertently taking part in Hollywood’s streaming wars.
HBO Max, the WarnerMedia streaming service slated to launch next year, has greenlit four unscripted projects from CNN Films, and one of them will follow the cable-news outlet’s female political reporters as they cover the campaign to win the 2020 presidential election. The documentary is expected to draw “from unprecedented access to the campaign press corps” and reveal “how these powerhouse political reporters deal with the candidates as well as with the challenges of life on the road. HBO Max did not name the CNN personnel who might be depicted in the project.
CNN is the latest WarnerMedia property to take part in launch of HBO Max, which will represent AT&T’s bid to gain revenue from the growing number of consumers turning to streaming video for entertainment. The project will join a crowded field, one already populated by Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and CBS All Access and one soon to be joined by Apple and Disney Plus. The news outlet’s CNN Films was originally devised to create original non-fiction programming that could fill the network’s schedule when the news cycle eased, but in the era of the Trump administration, news outlets often find themselves with more information than they can present in a 24-hour day. In this era, CNN Films might find itself with an expanded purview, providing content not just to its parent network, but also to other WarnerMedia outlets.
“We are so pleased to produce original nonfiction projects with HBO Max and to release new content from CNN Films and CNN Original Series via a streaming partner that complements our brands and creative goals,” said Amy Entelis, executive vice president for talent and content development for CNN Worldwide, in a prepared statement. “We look forward to partnering on future projects as well.”
The other CNN Films projects heading for HBO Max include “Heaven’s Gate,” a four-part unscripted series “that explores the infamous religious movement and the stranger-than-fiction circumstances that culminated in the biggest mass suicide to ever take place on U.S. soil.” The project is directed and executive produced by Clay Tweel, and produced by Campfire, the scripted and nonfiction production company from producer Ross Dinerstein along with Chris Bannon, Eric Spiegelman, Peter Clowney, and Erik Diehn for the digital media company Stitcher.
“Generation Hustle” is a 10-part series that examines “the lengths young people will go to for fame, fortune, and power” It is produced by Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions, and will be executive produced by Yon Motskin, Stacey Offman, and Richard Perello.
“Persona” is a documentary feature that “explores the riveting and unexpected origin story of America’s obsession with personality testing.”