CNN journalist Lisa Ling has signed an overall deal with WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service, HBO Max. The first project greenlit under the pact is travel docuseries “Birth, Wedding, Funeral,” which she will produce with Dan Rather.
Ling hosts “This is Life with Lisa Ling,” which is currently airing its sixth season on the WarnerMedia-owned CNN. Her deal with HBO Max expands her relationship with parent company WarnerMedia and will give the streaming service “a first look at new projects she will continue to develop for the streamer.”
“As part of the CNN family, Lisa has carved out a unique space for herself using her style of gritty, investigative journalism to drive at the heart of every human story she tells,” Jennifer O’Connell, EVP original content at HBO Max, said. “‘Birth, Wedding, Funeral’ takes audiences on a global journey through a range of societies, exploring the rituals around three critical life events and we are eager to bring this illuminating storytelling to our HBO Max audience.”
Based on a concept by Rather, Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupre and hosted by Ling, each episode of “Birth, Wedding, Funeral” “will immerse viewers in a different country to reveal their cultures through the lens of the three universal rituals — births, weddings, and funerals,” according to HBO Max. “In a quest to understand what connects us and celebrate the diversity of deeply rooted customs around the world, each episode is a riveting investigation of the human experience in a specific region, and a dramatic dive into an intimate moment in the lives of the people who live there.”
“Birth, Wedding, Funeral” is produced by Part2 Pictures, with Ling executive producing alongside Rather and Philip Kim for News and Guts.
“We are living in a deeply polarized world and I am elated for the opportunity to bring us closer to one another through stories about the most defining moments in people’s lives: their Births, Weddings and Funerals,” Ling said.
“Over the course of my many travels, I have always welcomed the chance to learn about the world’s varied cultures through how they experience life’s most intimate and transformative benchmarks,” Rather added. “I am thrilled that Lisa, a skilled and compassionate storyteller, will bring these moments into our homes and allow us to renew our faith in the common bonds of humanity.”