“Searching for Mexico,” the series that puts Eva Longoria at the center of an exploration of Mexican culture and cuisine and was originally planned to debut on CNN+, will instead launch on CNN’s flagship cable outlet. CNN+, a streaming-video outlet that aimed to court fans of the long-running cable network, was scuttled within weeks of its launch by corporate parent Warner Bros. Discovery.
Her series is one of a new slate of original documentary projects and films expected to debut on CNN in 2023 — the last batch under an initiative that had CNN team up with third-party production companies or independent filmmakers. The ventures often resulted in new exposure for CNN and frequently won premium advertising support.
But such efforts have been trimmed back by Warner Bros. Discovery, which is under significant pressure to reduce a massive debt load since the company was formed by merging AT&T’s WarnerMedia with the former Discovery Communications.
“The smart and captivating projects that make up our 2023 lineup are indicative of what we do best, and we look forward to sharing this slate with our audience,” said Amy Entelis, executive vice president for talent and content development at CNN Worldwide, in a prepared statement. “Our CNN Original Series and CNN Films and teams are incredibly proud of the work we have created over the last decade, and we are grateful to our producing partners for bringing so many memorable stories to life.”
Other projects in the works for 2023 include “Giuliani: What Happened to America’s Mayor?” The four-part series will air over two weekends starting on January 8., and will explore how a heroic figure in the aftermath of 9/11 became a key figure involved in President Donald Trump’s election conspiracies. “See It Loud: The History of Black Television” is a five-part series that explores Black television through iconic performances across various genres and is executive produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter with The SpringHill Company.
Jake Tapper will lead the six-part “United States of Scandal” which examines what drives someone to break the rules and what happens when they are caught. “Vegas: The Story of Sin” is a four-part series that looks at the titular city.
CNN Films’ final collaboration with outside production and distribution partners includes two new projects: “Blue Carbon” and “Chowchilla” join the slate along with the following previously announced titles: “American Pain,” directed by Darren Foster; “Glitch: The Rise & Fall of HQ Trivia,” directed by Salima Koroma; and “Little Richard: I Am Everything,” directed by Lisa Cortés. “Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over,” premieres Sunday, January 1 at 9pm eastern as part of CNN’s annual New Year’s Year programming.