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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Anthony Bourdain Joins CNN/CNNi Weekends


Launching in Early 2013 on CNN & CNNI, Program Expands CNN’s Coverage of Food and Travel; Bourdain to Also Offer Commentary Across CNN Programs

World-renowned chef, bestselling author and Emmy winning television personality Anthony Bourdain will join CNN as host of a new weekend program, creating a signature showcase for the network’s coverage of food and travel. The announcement was made by CNN Worldwide Executive Vice President and Managing Editor, Mark Whitaker.

“For more than a decade, Anthony Bourdain has been a trailblazer in educating Americans about different cuisines and cultures around the world, as well as an outspoken commentator on social trends ranging from the rise of celebrity chefs to the impact of fast food chains to the spread of vegetarianism and veganism.” said Whitaker. “Examining the world through the prism of Tony’s unique expertise and passions continues CNN’s long-standing commitment to international reporting and to promoting global understanding.”
Launching in early 2013, the show will be shot on location and examine cultures from around the world through their food and dining and travel rituals. Slated to air domestically on Sundays in prime time with repeat airings on Saturday nights, it will mark a further step in broadening and distinguishing CNN’s weekend programming from its traditional weekday news coverage.
The series will be produced by Zero Point Zero Production with Executive Producers and Founders Chris Collins and Lydia Tenaglia, along with Executive Producer Sandy Zweig. The Emmy award winning Zero Point Zero Production has been working with Anthony Bourdain for over a decade, producing Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, The Layover, A Cooks Tour, and Decoding Ferran Adria.

Bourdain, whose reporting has taken him from the culinary capitals of Europe, Asia and North and South America to such historically war-torn or isolated regions as Vietnam, Mozambique, Uzbekistan and Romania, will also offer commentary on other CNN programs and platforms, domestically and internationally, providing insights into current events and debates around food and health and other cultural conversations.

“I’m really looking forward to coming over to CNN. I think the world is going to get a whole lot bigger for me,” said Bourdain. “I hope that old fans and new ones will be excited about what’s coming down the road.”

Bourdain has been the host of the award-winning Travel Channel series Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations since 2005. He previously hosted A Cook’s Tour on the Food Network and has appeared on Bravo’s competition series Top Chef and written for HBO’s New Orleans-based drama Treme. He is also the author of critically acclaimed non-fiction and fiction books, including the New York Times bestsellers “Kitchen Confidential and “A Cook’s Tour.” He now oversees his own line of books from Ecco, a division of HarperCollins, the first three of which are scheduled to be released in 2013.

Bourdain’s many accolades include Emmy awards for programs on Haiti and Laos, and an Emmy nomination for an episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, which was shot in Beirut during the 2006 Lebanon War.
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Anonymous said...

I'm really thrilled about this! Anthony Bourdain is great. I know there will be many people who will hate this but nothing is wrong with a 30 minute travel show during weekend prime time.

Anonymous said...

I think it is a great move. World travel and food is
news. CNN could adopt some Discovery style shows.
You can learn a lot from them. Let's hope this means
CNN is getting away from the ideologues, which has
been a huge disaster for CNN. Wonder if any other
big names will end up at CNN ?

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:00 PM I like AB when he talks food and travels. Putting him on weekends and to be on other shows may be what CNN needs to get away from politics and pundits. Use to be CNN had a diverse line up of shows, but now it's politics 24/7 and I tend to tune out.

Anonymous said...

CNN needs real news shows instead of pundits. Cuisine, culture and travel certainly can be important and interesting topics for a news netowrk to cover. But Bourdain is not a newsman and his show will not even resemble a newscast. He's just a "cuisine pundit" and, even though I like the guy, he just doesn't fit on a news network in this format. As an occasional commentator yes, but as a celebrity host of an entertainment show that has nothing to do with news - absolutely not. Or is he gonna go to the Syrian frontlines and report that while shelling in Damascus continues, the kebabs are still delicious? Doh.
Yet another ridiculous move by Walton and the gang which doesn't have a big potential of bringing any rating successes. The audience knows what CNN stood and should stand for and they never tuned in to shows that had literally nothing to do with news. This is a lose-lose scenario for all - CNN won't get what it expects (the ratings), viewers won't get what they mostly expect (the news, regardless of format) and Bourdain will have to look at himself in the mirror and say "Why the hell did I leave a successful show?". What's next, Ice Road Truckers?

Anonymous said...

@5:56PM: Very good points, but it is only a 30 minute weekly show. Besides his food knowledge, he is a person who is very up to date with current world events. He has been just about everywhere. Not saying he should become a news reporter, but the fact that he has good knowledge of what is happening around the world is a plus. It's not like he is replacing Piers Morgan for a daily show. I remember Larry King interviewing him after he evacuated from Lebanon during the war with Israel in 2006. (He was in Beirut filming a show and the fighting began and he was stuck). The interview was great. This is just something CNN is trying differently. I'm all for it. He is highly popular. I'm sure the format of his CNN show will be slightly different from his Travel Channel show. Keep in mind, there are other 30 minute successful weekly shows on CNN that focus on other things like Sanjay Gupta MD, Your Money, or even World Sport.

Anonymous said...

All I know about Anthony Bourdain is what I learned reading about him from Nora Ephron, the popular writer and director.
She adores him and in every book she's written she mentions him in some aspect.
I think "Heartburn," her book and then movie was copied from a form of his life.
Of course anyone who has followed her career knows she's a foodie.
This can be a very good thing for CNN and shows they are finally moving in a different, well thought out direction, which has been long in coming.

Anonymous said...

Bourdain has enough of a following and background to easily take over Piers Morgan's spot.
He can get great guests that can speak about almost any topic and CNN should use his expertise to the fullest. He is a real talent that must be used wisely.
He is a welcome addition to the CNN lineup.
Now watch them mess this up.

Anonymous said...

ANON11:04p.m. - It would be absolutely ridiculous to have him replace Piers Morgan. CNN will be producing a weekly travel show for him, what on earth would he be doing in a studio conducting interviews? That is almost as outrageous as the thought of having Martha Stewart take over Starting Point. I don't understand why so many comments on this blog site want an interviewer to replace Piers Morgan. I want to see news in prime time, not a talk show. CNN needs to re-think its 9PM hour. Piers Morgan might as well move to weekends too.

Anonymous said...

According to Hollywood Deadline the show will
only be on Sunday nights. I see nothing wrong with
CNN going with diverse programming. As far as I
am concerned CNN can do a mini series like The
Hatfields & McCoys. CNN could learn a lot form
Discovery, History, Travel, Science, BBC Earth, NGW,
PBS docs, Vanguard. How Stuff Works, Cool Hunting,
Vice, Vimeo and others. There are so many news
categories. Cable news has to get away from pundits
and politics or they are done. The viewers have
moved on and cable news has to offer huge
amounts of content. I wish CNN would do 2
live sports shows at 11: PM on weekends.

Ted Turner understood this concept from the
beginning. Viewers should be able to get it
all on CNN with diverse groups of shows. It
is simple : CNN brings the world to your
home just turn to the channel and you can
get it all.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous 8:46, Of course we should believe Hollywood Deadline over an official CNN press release. Sometimes I do wonder about the mentality of readers here.

Anonymous said...

@1.10am ditto!

Anonymous said...

I said "take over Pier's Morgan's spot." That did NOT mean it should be a show that replicates anything like Piers Moron.
Bourdain can do whatever he likes as long as it fits and works well.
Sometimes readers read what they want and not what is actually said in comments.

Anonymous said...

@9:52PM - The thought of having Anthony Bourdain host a prime time show weeknights on a major news network in itself is absolutely not what CNN should do. I highly doubt he would be interested. It's not his thing.