Take one acerbic chef, now add an Oscar-nominated filmmaker and CNN hopes it has gotten itself a weekend. Fighting against 20-year low ratings, the news network today announced that Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock’s Inside Man series will debut in April 2013 on CNN. No stranger to either side of the camera since his 2004 feature debut, the documentary filmmaker will both host and produce the new show. “Like Anthony Bourdain’s new CNN series, Inside Man will carry the distinctive stamp of its host while taking viewers on colorful and informative journeys into fascinating corners of American society,” said Mark Whitaker, CNN Worldwide EVP and managing editor today. In late May, the network said that Bourdain, the long time host of the Travel Channel’s No Reservations, would be joining CNN to host a weekend travel and food series. There is no indication if the new Spurlock/Bourdain block will run on Saturdays or Sundays. However, a source tells Deadline that these new shows are not expected to affect the network’s current Sunday programming of State Of The Union With Candy Crowley, Howard Kurtz’s Reliable Sources and the recently reinstated Fareed Zakaria GPS. They are intended to bring some change and some younger viewers to the broadcaster. Earlier this month Jeff Bewkes, CEO of CNN’s parent company Time-Warner, said that he’s looking for “non partisan coverage” that’s presented “in a very compelling and more engaging way than we’ve been doing of late. To that end, just last week, CNN said they were exploring “non-fiction original series for the weekend.” Part of that exploration looks to be over, at least for now. Produced by Spurlock and partner Jeremy Chilnick’s Warrior Poets, Inside Man is now the second new weekend non-fiction series that the channel has announced in the past few months. Inside Man will play either before or after the as-yet-unnamed Bourdain show starting in the spring of 2013. Despite the new weekend shows, the network intends to stick to news during the week and especially during primetime with Anderson Cooper 360 and Piers Morgan Tonight, a source tells Deadline.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.