CNN is looking to the past — and recognizable names like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Sean Hayes, and Tom Hanks — for its slate of new shows for 2017. The network announced three new series with a focus in history at the Turner Upfronts Wednesday, including Soundtracks: Songs That Made History, The History of Comedy, and The Nineties.
The Rock adds a doc series to his already massive to-do list with Soundtracks: Songs That Made History. The show will look back at major moments in history through the lens of the music tied to them. The series will discuss the tunes connected to significant events, such as the Stonewall riots, the moon landing, and Hurricane Katrina. Johnson is executive producing with Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, and Brian Gewirtz.
Along with looking back at historic music, CNN is also going to the roots of some classic laughs with The History of Comedy. The eight-part series from Sean Hayes (Will & Grace) and Todd Milliner (Grimm) sets out to determine what makes people laugh by exploring various styles of comedy through many different ages and presenting archival footage, interviews with legendary comedians, and even original material.
CNN premiered its latest decade series, The Eighties, at the end of March, but it’s already looking ahead to Tamagotchis and Nirvana. The network picked up its newest decade series, The Nineties, from executive producers Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman. As with the past decade series, which started with The Sixties in 2014, The Nineties will delve into the major cultural milestones that defined the decade, starting with the birth of the internet and ending with President Bill Clinton’s impeachment.
These new series will join the previously announced Believer with Reza Aslan as CNN’s full slate of new shows.