VICE is expanding its current season from eight editions to ten editions and is devoting its entire June 14 season finale to the show’s recent week-long trip to North Korea. VICE founder and series host Shane Smith had previously reported from within North Korea on two occasions, but was barred from returning to the country because of his critical documentaries on the regime. Determined to return and chronicle the reclusive country under its new leader, Kim Jong-un, Smith sent a team of correspondents and a production crew, including VICE correspondent Ryan Duffy, NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman, and three players from the Harlem Globetrotters on a cultural exchange in late February. VICE kicked off its season on April 5 at 11 PM. Viewership for the second edition of VICE, which debuted Friday, April 12, improved 78% over its premiere, attracting 931,000 viewers at 11 PM.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
HBO isn’t in the habit of doing traditional newsmagazine shows, and its new magazine Vice (premiering April 5) is like no series of its ilk that mainstream TV has ever seen. It’s sort of Rolling Stone-meets-The-BBC-meets-Real Time With Bill Maher. And it’s certainly not coincidental that Maher is an exec producer on the globe-trotting newsmagazine fronted by host Shane Smith. Vice is also the name of the media company that produces the show that practices a New Age-style journalism that Smith called “Immersionism” during an afternoon panel at TCA. “We have local stringers, we dress the part (of the locals), and we try not to be intrusive,” Smith explained. “We also try to be smart about it. We aren’t action junkies. We just try to get a good story. Being able to have smaller crews helps.” Smith’s Vice partner and exec producer Eddy Moretti, who joined him on the panel, stressed that the show isn’t like a traditional news crew in any way. They will hang out with story subjects for days before even beginning to record, to cultivate trust. “Because we come as storytellers, rather than journalists, we’re often welcomed into these communities. It gives us an access that allows us to tell a rich human story.”
NEW YORK, NY (April 5, 2011) – Vice today announced it has formed major investment partnerships with some of the most influential leaders in the media business: Tom Freston, MTV Founder and former Viacom CEO; WPP, the world’s leading communications services group; and The Raine Group, a top media