By Sahil Patel
Conde Nast Entertainment, the original video content division of the publishing giant, has unveiled The Scene Inside, a new fall slate focused on provocative documentary series.
Hoping to build on the success of previous documentary series like “Casualties of the Gridiron,” which was nominated for a Sports Emmy earlier this year, and “Screw You Cancer,” which won a Television Academy Honor award, CNE plans to release at least five new shows that give audiences “a provocative view of controversial and diverse topics,” said Michael Klein, EVP of programming and content strategy for CNE.
It all kicks off with “The Grind,” a new docu-series for GQ from the director of “Casualties,” Isaac Solotaroff, who once again tackles the issue of health in football — this time with the help of NFL star Brandon Marshall. “The Grind,” which debuts today on The Scene, follows Marshall in the months leading up to the 2014 season. Previously diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, the star receiver wants to end the stigma of mental illness and be the public face of mental health in the NFL.
Next up, “Belle Knox,” an original series produced for The Scene that will focus on the life of Miriam Weeks, a Duke undergrad who rose to fame for her other life as a porn star. The series will debut on September 16.
Another GQ original, “China Wealth,” will premiere in October. From filmmaker Lauren Greenfield, the series will spotlight the “unimaginable realities” of new wealth and luxury in China, and how that conflicts with the ideals of a Communist state.
The Scene Inside slate will also include a documentary that features a top YouTube creator. In this case it’s the FPS Russia channel, which is famous for the gun expert “Dmitri Potapoff” character played by channel co-creator Kyle Myers. Co-created by Myers and Keith Ratliff, FPS Russia has grown to more than 5 million subscribers since launching in 2010. The series will explore the mysterious death of Ratliff, who was killed execution-style with a single bullet from close range. “FPS Russia” will premiere in November.
The final series within the slate, “The Last Mile,” comes from filmmaker Ondi Timoner (“We Live in Public”) in cooperation with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Created for Wired, the series shines a light on The Last Mile initiative, which looks to turn inmates into entrepreneurs by providing concrete skills and legitimate job opportunities when they are paroled. Specifically, the series will follow inmate Damon Cooke, who requested a transfer to San Quentin to join The Last Mile Program, and his ed-tech startup. It will debut in October.