More Docs Coming to MSNBC

By Chris Ariens Comment

MSNBC is going to premiere more than a dozen new documentaries in the month of December. The popular Doc Block programming runs Monday – Thursday from 10pmET-Midnight and on Friday from 9pmET-Midnight. The programming is re-purposed on weekends and on holidays. In fact, on Thanksgiving the network re-aired several MSNBC Investigates episodes and won the A25-54 demo in prime time. FNC still won in total viewers (live +SD).

Interestingly, CNN also devoted much of Thursday to its Special Investigations Unit documentary programming. In prime time, the network came in fourth in A25-54 and third in total viewers.

Click continued to read more about MSNBC’s December Doc Block premieres…


NBC’s Meredith Vieira Looks Into The Human Trafficking Trade In The United States In “MSNBC Undercover: Sex Slaves In America”

MSNBC Goes Inside One of the Country’s Most Dangerous Maximum Security Prisons in “Lockup: Holman – Extended Stay,” Series Premiering Dec. 10

NEW YORK – November 27, 2007 – MSNBC brings viewers more than a dozen brand-new documentaries to premiere in its primetime “Doc Block.” The “Doc Block,” weeknights 10 p.m. – 12 a.m. ET/PT, includes individual stand-alone documentaries and several returning MSNBC series. Premiering this December are “Conviction,” a new MSNBC series, “MSNBC Undercover: Sex Slaves in America,” and “Journey to the Center of the Brain.” In addition, MSNBC brings back two popular series “Lockup: Extended Stay” with “Lockup: Holman – Extended Stay” and “Born in the Wrong Body.” “Gladiator Days: Anatomy of a Prison Murder” also makes its MSNBC debut.

“MSNBC Undercover: Sex Slaves in America,” hosted by Meredith Vieira, premieres Monday, Dec. 3 at 11 p.m. ET/PT:

It’s a story that begins in the ruins of the shattered Soviet Empire and ends in heartland America. A tragic, but all too familiar tale – young women in eastern Europe chasing dreams of a better life, but lured, instead, into sexual slavery. It’s a vast global crime – human rights advocates estimate that every year almost a million women worldwide are illegally bought and sold as sex slaves, plenty of whom are ending up in the U.S. “MSNBC Undercover: Sex Slaves in America,” hosted by NBC’s Meredith Vieira, goes inside the human trafficking and underground prostitution scene in the United States. The one-hour documentary premieres Monday, Dec. 3 at 11 p.m. ET/PT.

“Lockup: Holman – Extended Stay” six-part series premieres Monday, Dec. 10 at 10 p.m. ET/PT:

MSNBC’s hit series “Lockup – Extended Stay” is at it again. Coming off the success of “Lockup: San Quentin – Extended Stay,” MSNBC premieres “Lockup: Holman – Extended Stay” where our cameras spent four months inside Alabama’s highest security prison. The series begins Monday, Dec. 10 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

“Lockup: Holman – Extended Stay” continues to take the popular “Lockup” franchise to the next level inside this maximum-security prison, Holman Correctional Facility, where everyday is a battle to survive for both inmates and officers. The extremely under-staffed, all-male prison is the home of Alabama’s death chamber. Most of the inmates are lifers or are on death row and will only get out – in a coffin. The warden keeps the place running. Just days after MSNBC began taping, he called for an immediate lockdown following a stabbing. Our cameras catch the prison-wide shakedown that turns up dozens of weapons and lots of drugs. Also, we meet inmate Jammy Bell, who shouts all day and night at the guards; Bobby Ray Gilbert, who has a wicked sense of humor even after many years in segregation; and Allen Clark, who just got engaged to a nurse in a nearby hospital, or did he? “Lockup: Holman – Extended Stay” is the most real look at prison life on TV.

Two episodes of the new series “Conviction” premiere on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 11 p.m. ET/PT and Saturday, Dec. 22 at 10 p.m. ET:

In a place where admitting your crime can get you killed, five inmates dare to come to terms with their murderous pasts. MSNBC’s “Conviction” takes viewers on a journey through the criminal mind, documenting inmates in peer therapy as they struggle to admit their crimes in the most unforgiving place of all, prison.

In these first two episodes, titled “Murder Amongst Friends” and “The Orchard Execution,” taped at California State Prison Solano, we meet Jack McGarey and Eddie Harro. When Jack McGarey was only 17 years old, a torrid love affair spurred him to lure his best friend Luke to an isolated levy and murder him. 21 years later, he’s hoping peer therapy will help him come to terms with what he did that deadly night, and to help him gain parole. Our cameras follow him for six months as he struggles to share new details about the crime and to stay out of trouble long enough to get paroled. Also 21 years ago, on a deserted dirt road in Modesto, California, the Flores brothers were executed, and Eddie Haro was there. For more than two decades, Haro has been silent about the night of murders, but with a parole hearing looming, he’s hoping peer therapy will help him admit to what really happened that night. Do these men deserve parole? Are they telling the whole truth? “Conviction” begins Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 11 p.m. ET/PT.

Two new episodes of “Born in the Wrong Body” premiere on Sunday, December 23 at 9 p.m. ET and Thursday, December 27 at 11 p.m. ET/PT:

MSNBC debuts two new episodes of “Born in the Wrong Body.” The first part, “Girls Will Be Boys,” premiering Sunday, Dec. 23 at 9 p.m. ET, takes an intimate look at three adult biological females who have been living their lives as men and the path they take towards making their bodies match the gender they believe they are. MSNBC cameras are with Mac, Patric, and Eric as they prepare for their final gender reassignment surgeries, in the operating room during their surgeries, and on their home turf several weeks afterward. “Girls Will Be Boys” takes a look at the mental anguish often suffered by “transmen” (transgender female-to-males) from childhood on, the agonizing difficulties they face, and the triumph of finally getting their bodies to match their minds. The second hour, “On the Edge,” airing Thursday, Dec. 27 at 11 p.m. ET/PT, delves into the transgender “Ballroom” scene in New York. It’s a world unto its own – a wild and spectacular scene where transgender people are in their element – and celebrated for who they are. But the over-the-top clothes and party atmosphere belie the serious problems that pursue transgender people in the everyday world. This episode follows four “transwomen” (transgender men-to-women) who walk on the edge of living life fully while being pushed to the edge of society.

“Journey to the Center of the Brain” premieres Sunday, December 23 at 10 p.m. ET:

MSNBC’s one-hour documentary, “Journey to the Center of the Brain,” takes you into the elite world of neurosurgery – following doctors and patients as they navigate their way through life altering surgeries. What drives the brain surgeons, how do they work together, and what does today’s technology allow them to do? Their patients are scared about the road ahead and rely on the abilities and confidence of their brain surgeons to lead them down an uncertain path. “Journey to the center of the Brain” premieres Sunday, Dec. 23 at 10 p.m. ET.

“Gladiator Days: Anatomy of a Prison Murder” airs on Wednesday, December 12 at 11 p.m. ET/PT:

Across the United States, violent crime in prison is an everyday reality, with inmates routinely exposed to assault, riot, rape and murder. Produced by HBO Films, “Gladiator Days: Anatomy of a Prison Murder” examines the culture of institutional violence through the events that led to one brutal prison murder. Utah State Prison surveillance cameras capture this disturbing real-life account of the vicious stabbing of black inmate Lonnie Blackmon by convicted murderer, white supremacist Troy Kell and his accomplice Eric Daniels. “Gladiator Days: Anatomy of a Prison Murder” premieres on MSNBC Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 11 p.m. ET/PT.

Michael Rubin is vice president, long-form programming, MSNBC. Scott Hooker is senior executive producer, documentary production and development, MSNBC.