Death will be a big subject on TV this fall with two documentary projects from A-list auspices tackling end of life. At Showtime’s TCA presentation today, entertainment president David Nevins announced a “very special documentary series that has been in the pipeline for quite a while now. Time Of Death, from Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz’s Magical Elves (Top Chef), “is like nothing I’ve ever seen before on television,” Nevins said. “It’s an examination of people in the last days and weeks of their life and how they and their families make the transition from life to death.” That is the exact premise of a documentary special ordered in March by National Geographic Channel. From Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck; Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin, directors of the Oscar-winning 2011 documentary Undefeated; and Scott Free, the Verité documentary chronicles people’s final days before death, celebrating their lives and legacy through documentary footage, home movies, personal testimonials and interviews with friends and family members. Both projects are described as life-affirming and both Nevins and National Geographic president Howard T. Owens have said this was a subject they had always wanted to explore. Now viewers will be able to do it simultaneously on two networks as the Nat Geo docu is slated for the fall, and Time Of Death is slotted for November. “It’s not an easy show to watch,” Nevins said of Time Of Death. “I know it will make for a very powerful viewing experience.”
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