Looking to plug its sinking ratings, CNN has hired documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock to host and produce a new weekend series. “Inside Man” will give viewers an “insider’s view” into American subcultures: marijuana growers, end-of-life caregivers, migrant farmworkers, etc.
CNN did not say what troubled time slot would get the Spurlock show, but the network’s got lots to chose from. Last May, CNN hit a 20-year monthly ratings low and hasn’t gotten a lot better since. The network saw a slight ratings uptick in July, for instance, but sank again to 20-year lows in prime time during the Summer Olympics.
CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton announced last month that he was leaving the network.
The Time Warner-owned network did say that “Inside Man” would unveil in April of 2013. CNN also said that Spurlock’s show would be coupled with its already announced new docu-series, hosted by chef Anthony Bourdain, that will look at different 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 in the wake of CNN’s ratings problems, that the network was looking for talk show and “reality” series to prop up its numbers.