CNN Is Debuting 6 New Original Series Next Year

By A.J. Katz 

CNN is seeing ratings success on weekends, and that’s primarily due to its original programming.

The network appears to be doubling down on its success in the unscripted space, bringing back a number of original series and launching six new ones for 2019.

CNN’s American Dynasties: The Kennedys has been winning its time period on Sundays, and the network has decided to bring back a second installment of the series, this one focusing on the Bush family. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, coming off his appearance at the Final Four, will host Chasing Life With Sanjay Gupta, a new six-part CNN Original Series set to launch next year.


These are just two new series that will join the Peabody and Emmy-award winning Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, as well as United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell, This is Life with Lisa Ling, both of which have also won Emmys.

  • Chasing Life With Sanjay Gupta Chasing Life With Sanjay Gupta is a six-part CNN Original Series, produced by Part2 Pictures, following Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s travels around the world in search of the secret to living longer, healthier and happier. Dr. Gupta is a brain surgeon and top authority on health and medicine, but his personal and professional curiosity will take him on a globe-trekking, immersive journey to explore surprising traditions and modern practices that illuminate what constitutes a healthy and meaningful life.
  • Tricky Dick – Tricky Dick is a four-part CNN Original Series, produced by Left/Right, that explores Richard Nixon’s life and times; tracking his rise, fall, incredible comeback and political destruction. From his early political career in California, to the game-changing Kennedy-Nixon debates through his disgraceful Watergate exit, this fully archive-based series will feature never-before-seen footage and offer viewers fresh insight into an unbelievable story.
  • American Dynasties: The Bushes American Dynasties: The Bushes is a CNN Original Series, produced by London-based production company RAW. It follows in the footsteps of the top-rated American Dynasties: The Kennedys. The series explores the Bush family’s complex internal dynamics, fraternal rivalries, influential matriarchs and extreme competitive spirit which drove them to power. It’s a story of triumph, tragedy, heroism, religion and of an evolving conservatism that paved the way for today’s political landscape. This is the first major series to ever deeply examine this one family which has so greatly impacted American political history.
  • American Style (working title) – American Style is a four-part CNN Original Series, produced by Vox Entertainment—the original programming division of Vox Media—that examines how America’s changing style through the decades has mirrored the political, social and economic climate of the time, shaping our unique American identity. Using archival footage and interviews with fashion experts and cultural figures, American Style will highlight the most iconic moments from fashion, history and pop culture, giving audiences a front row seat to the runway of American history.
  • Once in a Great City: Detroit 1962-64 – Executive produced by Emmy Award winners Anthony Bourdain, Lydia Tenaglia, Chris Collins and Toby Oppenheimer, Once in a Great CityDetroit 1962-64 is a four-part CNN Original Series about Detroit when the city’s auto industry was the envy of the world and Motown ruled the airwaves. The series, produced by Zero Point Zero, will take viewers back to a time in America when people believed in the goodness of big corporations, had high hopes for racial parity, and looked to unions and the government to solve their problems.
  • The Redemption Project The Redemption Project is an eight-part CNN Original Series produced by Citizen Jones and directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Jason Cohen. Each episode follows the victim—or surviving family members—of a life-altering crime as they journey to meet face-to-face with their offender in the hopes of finding answers or seeking some sense of closure. Van Jones will serve as a guide for the viewer throughout this transformational experience. Through unique access to the U.S. prison system, and a rare glimpse into the restorative justice process, this powerful series will explore the human potential for redemption.

The 2018/2019 programming slate will also feature new seasons of returning CNN Original Series including Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown (Zero Point Zero); United Shades of America With W. Kamau Bell (Main Event Media/All3Media America); This Is Life With Lisa Ling (Part2 Pictures); The History of Comedy (Hazy Mills/Herzog & Company); and Declassified: Untold Stories of American Spies (All3Media America), in addition to the premieres of 1968: The Year That Changed in America this May (Playtone/Herzog & Company) and The 2000s (Playtone/Herzog & Company) this July.