As part of its ongoing effort to redefine itself in the face of twenty year low ratings CNN announced yesterday that it’s giving pop documentarian Morgan Spurlock a weekend show, Inside Man, which will debut in April 2013. Spurlock -best known for his 2004 debut feature Super Size Me in which he ate nothing but McDonald’s for a month (to prove I guess that doing so would be unhealthy?) – has since then continued operating as a sort of Michael Moore Lite, producing and starring in a series of non-fiction films that could charitably be described as “breezy and accessible” or alternately described as “glib and superficial.”
According to a statement from Mark Whitaker, CNN Worldwide Executive Vice President and Managing Editor, ”Inside Man will carry the distinctive stamp of its host while taking viewers on colorful and informative journeys into fascinating corners of American society.” A Los Angeles Times report yesterday asserted that the show “will take the adventurous documentarian inside such subcultures as gun lovers, marijuana growers, migrant farm workers and end-of-life caregivers.” As A.V. Club writer John Semley points out this sounds exactly like the premise of a TV Show Spurlock has already done, the canceled FX Series 30 Days, in which someone (though in that case not always Spurlock himself) spent 30 days living in a subculture or lifestyle completely different than the one they’re accustomed to.
Spurlock is CNN’s second big hire for its recently announced weekend programming block of non-hard-news shows that is thus far it’s only big move to get itself out of the ratings doldrums. In May they announced that No Reservations host Anthony Bourdain will be moving to CNN. The idea is that Spurlock’s show will air either before or after Bourdain’s new show starting in spring of 2013.