May 19th, 2021

Premium Content From CNN Original Series and CNN Films Shines on Theatrical, Streaming, and Television Screens for 2021 and 2022

NEW YORK—May 19, 2021 – During today’s WarnerMedia Upfront presentation, CNN revealed plans for its CNN Original Series and CNN Films for the third quarter of 2021 and forward, building upon a successful, diverse portfolio of premium, nonfiction programming.


Three new CNN Original Series will premiere in 2021: History of the SitcomJerusalem: City of Faith and Fury, and Diana (wt) were each previously announced.  More details about their content were presented today.  Six new CNN Original Series will premiere in 2022, including: Patagonia (wt), Nomad with Carlton McCoy (wt), Dark Was the Night: The Life of HitlerLBJ: Triumph and Tragedy, and Reframed: Marilyn Monroe (Reframed was previously announced).


CNN also announced key renewals.  The critically-acclaimed Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy will return for a second season, joining a lineup of returning award-winning series.  The celebrated This is Life with Lisa Ling has been renewed for its eighth season and will return in fall 2021, and the Emmy® Award-winning United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell will return for its seventh season in 2022.


CNN Films has continued to collaborate with production and distribution partners for premium documentary features that deliver to theatrical, broadcast, and streaming screens.  DREAMLAND: The Burning of Black Wall Street, a previously-announced collaboration with LeBron James’ and Maverick Carter’s The SpringHill Company, celebrates the Black achievement of the Greenwood community of Tulsa, OK, in the early 20th century, and the 100 year-old, racially-motivated massacre of Black residents that has remained obscured by history, but not forgotten.  The film is directed by Salima Koroma and will premiere Monday, May 31, in commemoration of the centennial of the historic events.


Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain, directed by Academy Award-winner Morgan Neville, and produced by Tremolo Productions, will premiere at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival.  Roadrunner explores the life of the legendary storyteller, traveler, and culinary force.  Bourdain helped launch CNN’s premium nonfiction franchises and helmed the 12-time Primetime Emmy® Award-winning Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, for 12 seasons, 2013 to 2018.  The film is a co-production between CNN Films and HBO Max and has been acquired by Focus Features for theatrical release, beginning Friday, July 16.


The CNN Film LADY BOSS: The Jackie Collins Story, will have its world premiere at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival in June, prior to its debut on CNN.  The Laura Fairrie-directed feature is co-produced with AGC Studios and the BBC, and celebrates the life and achievements of the ground-breaking sexual liberation icon and novelist.


LFG, produced by CNN Films for HBO Max, will also premiere at Tribeca.  The documentary feature film examines the fight for pay equity by the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, and will stream exclusively via HBO Max when it is released.


The Lost Sons, directed by Ursula Macfarlane, and produced by RAW, the production company that previously collaborated with CNN Films to produce THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS, examines a criminal case of infants switched at birth, and the impact of the search for answers on their families and communities. The Lost Sons had its world premiere in 2021 at SXSW, and is currently being marketed for theatrical distribution.  Rounding out the announcements from CNN Films is JULIA, a film about the ground-breaking and culturally-influential chef, Julia Child.  The film is directed by Academy Award-nominated Julie Cohen and Betsy West of Storyville Films, who previously directed the acclaimed RBG for CNN Films.  The film was previously confirmed in production by CNN Films and Imagine Documentaries; both of which are executive producers of JULIA.  Dates for the release of JULIA are not yet confirmed.


The 2021/2022 CNN Original Series include:


  • History of the Sitcom (summer)– History of the Sitcom, an eight-part docuseries produced by Cream Productions, reunites audiences with the sitcom friends, families, and co-workers they grew up with while introducing cutting-edge comedies that are sure to be a binge-watch. The series features over 180 original interviews with sitcom icons including Norman Lear, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Lisa Kudrow, Jason Alexander, Kelsey Grammer, Kim Fields, Tim Allen, Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke, George Lopez, Mel Brooks, Isabella Gomez, Ted Danson, Joey Soloway, Jimmie Walker, Judd Apatow, Dan Levy, Zooey Deschanel, Chuck Lorre, Mara Brock Akil, Helen Hunt, and many more.


  • Jerusalem: City of Faith and Fury (summer)— Jerusalem: City of Faith and Fury, produced by Blackfin, is a six-part CNN Original Series that tells the story of one of the most controversial cities in history, through six epic conflicts and rivalries that shaped and defined it. Spanning Biblical times to the Roman Empire to the Cold War, the series will bring the “City of God” to life as never before.


  • Diana (wt) (fall)Produced by October Films, the six-part series is about Diana (wt) the woman, encompassing all her roles as mother, daughter, wife, princess, but primarily, as the blueprint for the modern woman.


  • This is Life with Lisa Ling (fall)— This is Life with Lisa Ling, produced by Part2 Pictures is an eight-part investigative documentary series that follows award-winning journalist and author Lisa Ling as she travels across America exploring communities that are often unknown or misunderstood. As the country tries to reckon with the events of this tumultuous year, there are two questions on everyone’s mind: “how did we get here?” And “how do we go forward?”  To help make sense of it all, Lisa takes a deep dive into our collective past to uncover some hard truths and find some answers.



  • Reframed: Marilyn Monroe Reframed: Marilyn Monroe is a four-part series produced by RAW TV that will reevaluate and reclaim the life and legacy of Marilyn Monroe from a modern perspective.  The series critically explores how she was presented, and how she presented herself, to uncover the real Marilyn.


  • Dark was the Night: The Life of Hitler Dark was the Night: The Life of Hitler, produced by Left/Right, is an examination of the life and times of Adolf Hitler, one of the most reviled figures in modern history. This series follows the full arc of his dramatic ascent, tyrannical reign, murderous criminality, and ultimate undoing. It dives deep into the cultural, social, and political influences that shaped him into a leader who could lure millions of Germans to support him in mass murder and world war.  Immersive and intimate, Dark was the Night lays bare a Nazi leader’s deepest obsessions, personal motivations, closest relationships, and crippling fears. Featuring never-before-broadcast archival material, this series is the definitive telling of the Hitler story – how an obscure man from the Austrian provinces became a modern symbol of human evil.


  • Patagonia (wt) Patagonia (wt), produced by Plimsoll Productions, is a sweeping and immersive deep dive into the land, animals, and people of one of the last untouched places on earth, the far-off land of Patagonia in South America.


  • LBJ: Triumph and Tragedy Lyndon Baines Johnson is one of the most consequential Presidents Americans don’t know well enough. A larger than life Texan with a dynamic personality, Johnson has been indelibly condemned as a flawed, accidental president, or simply lost to history without a clear individual identity in the U.S. presidential lexicon.  Johnson, a presidential enigma, was a master of the political process.  He was responsible for passing some of the most significant pieces of legislation in modern history, during the most contentious times imaginable.  But, while he was reshaping the social fabric of America, bringing the South out of the past and into the future, Johnson was simultaneously escalating a war that would rip America apart at the seams. The series, produced by Bat Bridge Entertainment, will be equal parts interviews, archival content, and recreations that combine to answer the question: ‘Warmongering buffoon or legislative genius, who is the real Lyndon Baines Johnson?’


  • Nomad with Carlton McCoy (wt) — By trade, Carlton McCoy is a Master Sommelier, entrepreneur, and CEO. By definition, Carlton is a cultural shape-shifter, a person who has the capacity to walk the lines of our divided country and world. This series, produced by Zero Point Zero Production, will examine culture and the things that bring people together in life.  Nomad will showcase and celebrate what makes us unique and what makes us the same: music, food, fashion, and culture, the intangible magic that connects us.


  • Stanley Tucci: Searching for ItalyStanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, a CNN Original Series produced by RAW TV, follows Academy Award-nominee Stanley Tucci as he travels across Italy to discover the secrets and delights of the country’s regional cuisines. The second season will premiere in 2022.


  • United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell, produced by Zero Point Zero Production, is an eight-part documentary series that follows socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell as he explores communities across the country to understand the issues that impact them. His unique ability to approach each topic with empathy and humor gives voice to those whose perspectives are too often left out of the conversation. The seventh season will premiere in 2022.


  • This is Life with Lisa Ling This is Life with Lisa Ling, produced by Part2 Pictures is an eight-part investigative documentary series that follows award-winning journalist and author, Lisa Ling, as she travels across America exploring communities that are often unknown or misunderstood.



About CNN Films

CNN Films produces and acquires documentary feature and short films for theatrical and festival exhibition and distribution across CNN’s multiple platforms.  Amy Entelis, executive vice president of talent and content development, oversees the strategy for CNN Films; Courtney Sexton, senior vice president for CNN Films, works day-to-day with filmmakers to oversee projects.  For more information about CNN Films, please visit, follow @CNNFilms via Twitter, and join Keep Watching, an exclusive, members-only community for CNN Films & CNN Original Series  Acclaimed CNN Films include the Academy Award®-nominated, BAFTA-nominated, and Emmy® Award-winning RBG, directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen; the Emmy® Award-winning APOLLO 11, the giant screen film APOLLO 11: First Steps Edition, directed by Todd Douglas Miller; JIMMY CARTER: Rock & Roll President, directed by Mary Wharton; and the Emmy® Award-nominated, BAFTA-nominated Three Identical Strangers, directed by Tim Wardle.


About CNN Original Series
The CNN Original Series group develops non-scripted programming for television via commissioned projects, acquisitions, and in-house productions. Amy Entelis, executive vice president of talent and content development, oversees CNN Original Series and CNN Films for CNN Worldwide. Lyle Gamm, senior vice president of current programming, supervises production of all CNN Original Series. Since 2012, the team has produced over 40 CNN Original Series, including the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, Emmy Award-winning United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell, and critically-acclaimed series including This is Life with Lisa LingFirst LadiesStanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, the “Decades” series, American Dynasties: The KennedysThe Windsors: Inside the Royal DynastyThe History of ComedyRace for the White House, and many others. For more information about CNN Original Series, please follow @CNNOriginals via Twitter, and join Keep Watching, our exclusive, members-only community that enables fans to stay engaged with their favorite CNN Original Series & Films .


Press Contacts:

Jacqueline Hernandez, CNN Original Series

Jennifer Dargan, CNN Films