As part of the deal, which marks an expansion of Ling’s relationship with CNN and HBO Max parent company WarnerMedia, HBO Max has given the greenlight to her travel docuseries “Birth, Wedding, Funeral.” HBO Max will also have a first look at new projects Ling develops.
Inspired by a concept from legendary journalist Dan Rather, the docuseries will immerse viewers in a different country each episode and deal with their cultures through the lens of the three universal rituals — births, weddings, and funerals.
“We are living in a deeply polarized world and I am elated for the opportunity to bring us closer to one another through stories about the most defining moments in people’s lives: their births, weddings and funerals,” said Ling.
“Birth, Wedding, Funeral” is set to be produced by Part2 Pictures, with Ling executive producing alongside Dan Rather and Philip Kim for News and Guts.
“As part of the CNN family, Lisa has carved out a unique space for herself using her style of gritty, investigative journalism to drive at the heart of every human story she tells,” said Jennifer O’Connell, executive vice president of original content at HBO Max in a statement. “’Birth, Wedding, Funeral’ takes audiences on a global journey through a range of societies, exploring the rituals around three critical life events and we are eager to bring this illuminating storytelling to our HBO Max audience.”
“Over the course of my many travels, I have always welcomed the chance to learn about the world’s varied cultures through how they experience life’s most intimate and transformative benchmarks,” added Rather in his own statement. “I am thrilled that Lisa, a skilled and compassionate storyteller, will bring these moments into our homes and allow us to renew our faith in the common bonds of humanity.”