CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton said last month that he was leaving the network.
The Time Warner-owned network did say that “Inside Man” would debut in April 2013. CNN also said Spurlock’s show would be coupled with its already announced new docu-series, hosted by chef Anthony Bourdain, which will look at food and dining cultures around the world.
Spurlock is maybe best known as the guy who made and starred in an innovative documentary take on obesity and fast food. His 2004 docu, “Super Size Me,” followed him for a month as he ate only at McDonald’s and recorded the results, which included a 24-pound weight gain. “Super Size Me” was nominated for an Academy Award in one of the documentary derbies.
The new Spurlock show seems to fulfill reports, which emerged after CNN’s ratings problems, that the network was looking for talk show and “reality” series to prop up its numbers.
Sheen waits on FX
Charlie Sheen is playing the waiting game after FX on Thursday aired the last of its initial 10-episode order of his comedy series, “Anger Management.”
Should the ratings on the 10 episodes hit an agreed-upon threshold — agreed upon by the network and producing studio Lionsgate — FX is on the hook for 90 episodes. The new episodes would be produced at a much faster clip than the usual broadcast model of about 22 episodes a season, or the even slower cable model of 13 episodes, or six episodes — or however many episodes the show’s creator is in the mood to make that season. We call it the Larry David model.
Anyway, that means Lionsgate will hit 100 episodes total in about two years — half the time it takes to snag that many episodes of a broadcast series. And that’s important because 100 episodes is the magic number needed for a truly robust aftermarket.
Last month, FX programming chief John Landgraf said the show’s third, fourth, fifth and sixth episodes exceeded the ratings threshold that’s required for the “back 90” renewal. The first two episodes, which ran consecutively on June 28, were excluded from the formula governing that pickup agreement, he told TV critics at Summer TV Press Tour 2012.
That’s a pity, because those first two episodes clocked an average of 5.5 million and 5.7 million viewers, making the premiere the most watched for a scripted prime-time comedy series in cable history at that time — excluding children’s programming. It was also the most watched series premiere in FX history. The ratings provided much the same story among the 18- to 49-year-olds who are the currency of FX ad sales.