Reza Aslan, Kamau Bell to Host New CNN Series

By Chris Ariens 

CNN is adding two new Original Series to the mix of programs already in the lineup.

Author and religious scholar Reza Aslan will host the new spiritual adventure series “Believer,” and comedian W. Kamau Bell will travel across the U.S. for “United Shades of America.” Both programs will debut next year and will join “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown,” “Morgan Spurlock Inside Man,” Mike Rowe‘s “Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” and “The Hunt with John Walsh,” which have all been renewed by CNN.

Aslan may be best known in cable news circles for a 2013 interview with Fox News, or his response to Bill Maher‘s criticism of Islamic violence and oppression, which led to a fiery interview with Don Lemon and Alisyn Camerota in September.

More details from CNN below:

New CNN Original Series

Internationally renowned author and scholar of religious studies Reza Aslan hosts Believer (working title), a new spiritual adventure series on CNN. In each episode, Aslan will immerse himself into one of the world’s most fascinating faith-based groups to experience life as a true believer. The series will feature Aslan participating in endurance worship, spellbinding rituals, and unusual rites of passage to learn about rarefied worlds that have been molded by faith and tradition. (Produced by Whalerock Industries).

United Shades of America follows comedian and political gadfly W. Kamau Bell as he accepts the challenge to boldly explore the far corners of our country and its various groups and subcultures. Along the way, he will ask questions, get himself into some awkward and at times unpredictable situations, and – most importantly – make people laugh. The series will strive to show the United States is not built upon just one, but many diverse and colorful definitions of America. (Produced by Objective Productions).

About Whalerock Industries (Believer with Reza Aslan, working title)
Whalerock Industries, formerly BermanBraun, was founded eight years ago and is a media and technology company blending Hollywood’s talent and content focus with Silicon Valley’s lean, meritocratic, platform-driven approach to create innovative premium content experiences. Whalerock’s digital properties including Wonderwall, Mandatory, and Moviefone (in partnership with Aol) reach approximately 70 million consumers per month across their touch points.

About Objective Productions (United Shades of America)
Objective Productions, founded by Andrew O’Connor and Michael Vine in 1991, is based in London, Glasgow and Los Angeles and has rapidly become one of the UK’s most influential and award winning independent production companies. Objective produces cutting edge and innovative scripted comedy, drama, entertainment, factual entertainment, children’s and magic shows for a range of television broadcasters in the UK as well as the US. Notable productions from Objective include Derren Brown: The Experiments (Channel 4), The Cube (ITV), Peep Show (Channel 4), Fresh Meat (Channel 4), Reflex (BBC ONE), Toast of London (Channel 4) and Bad Robots (Channel 4). The company is owned by global production and distribution company All3Media.

About All3Media America (United Shades of America)
All3Media America is the Los Angeles-based production studio for All3Media, a global production and distribution group of companies headquartered in the UK. Established in December 2012, All3Media America develops and produces a wide range of original scripted and non-scripted programming specifically for the US market as well as serving as the domestic production base for the group’s international formats and the group companies’ US development. All3Media America’s formats and finished programs are distributed internationally by All3Media International. All3Media is owned jointly between Discovery Communications and Liberty Global.