It’s official: Sacha Baron Cohen is returning to TV — and a lot sooner than you might think.
Showtime announced Monday the provocative comedian’s new series along with its first official promo, premiere date, and a few details.
The show is titled Who Is America? and the first episode will drop in less than a week — on Sunday, July 15 at midnight.
Official description: “In the works over the past year, the seven-episode series will explore the diverse individuals, from the infamous to the unknown across the political and cultural spectrum, who populate our unique nation.”
“Sacha is a comedic genius who shocks you with his audacity, bravery and inventiveness,” Showtime president and CEO David Nevins said. “He is the premier provocateur of our time, but not for the sake of ‘gotcha’ moments. Behind the elaborate setup is a genuine quest for the truth about people, places and politics. Nobody knows how to cause a stir like Sacha Baron Cohen, and it’s going to be fascinating to watch what happens when Who Is America? is released on the world.”
On Sunday night, Baron Cohen dropped a brief teaser that reveals he apparently somehow got former Vice President and torture enthusiast Dick Cheney to autograph a “waterboard kit.”
The ad released on Twitter asks, “Imagine if Sacha Baron Cohen had been undercover secretly filming a new show for a year…” Then there’s a flurry of images (including at least one that’s NSFW) that ends with Cheney being hesitantly asked by Cohen to sign “a waterboard kit” and then autographing a water jug. “That’s a first, that’s the first time I’ve ever signed a waterboard,” he replied.
(Cheney hasn’t softened his stance on “enhanced interrogation” of prisoners in his years since being George W. Bush’s veep. Back in May, he suggested restarting the program which was carried out by the CIA in secret prisons from 2002 and 2008 until it was shutdown amid worldwide condemnation and studies that show it doesn’t actually work).
Baron Cohen burst onto the comedy scene with 2000’s Da Ali G Show, which received six Emmy nominations during its four-year run. His next project was 2006’s Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, a feature film.