CNN

A master chef vanishes -- and re-appears -- in surprising ways


(There have been some fascinating documentaries late, as people take a fresh interest in American food and American chefs. No comes an  intriguing one, tentatively set for Nov. 12 and 18 on CNN; here's the story I sent to papers.)

By Mike Hughes

It's one thing to be
the best. It's another to do it and disappear.

"Elian": In Cuba, Miami and beyond, the story still stirs passions


As the new millennium began, there were fierce arguments about the future of young Elian Gonzalez. Now, 17 years later, an intriguing documentary has re-visited the people on both sides. Here's the story I sent to papers.

By Mike Hughes

Clearly, this wasn't
your usual TV interview.

The Obama era -- an 18-month swirl ... and then six years of improvising


.This is what TV should be doing more often -- taking big looks at the mega-events that change the world. Now -- Dec. 7, plus reruns -- CNN's Fareed Zakaria views the Obama era. Here's the story I sent to papers:

(Very interesting TV
story about an Obama CNN special that debuts Wednesday and reruns
Friday)

By Mike Hughes

Seriously? Postponed again?


When and if you ever get to see "Why They Hate Us," I think you'll consider it a solid, thoughtful report on a tough subject, The problem is getting to see it: Somehow, CNN has managed to postpone it for the second time. Here's the brief I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

CNN has postponed
its “Why They Hate Us” documentary ... again.

As the Middle East changes, the hatred persists ... sometimes


The good thing about CNN is that it sometimes has the depth that other networks lack; the bad is that it might change its schedule at the last moment. So Fareed Zakaria crafted an in-depth look at the U.S. and Muslims ... then saw CNN switch on the day the hour was supposed to air. Originally set for April 11, "Why They Hate Us" is now set for April 25; here's a revised version of the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

Steve Jobs: A strange life makes a great documentary


OK, the world doesn't have a shortage of Steve Jobs biographies. (Walter Isaacson's best-seller was followed by two movies, one of them written by Aaron Sorkin.) Still, the newest project -- a documentary that airs Jan. 3 and 9 on CNN -- is compelling. Here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

Roger Ebert: A sharp film scholar with a bar-next-door image


There was always something special about the Siskel-and-Ebert TV shows. They were fine entertainment, with clips, commentary and quick "thumbs up/thumbs down" verdicts. But beyond that surface were two brainy guys who loved movies and weren't so sure about each other. Both died early -- Siskel at 53, Ebert at 70 -- but a documentary offers a fascinating Ebert portrait. It runs on CNN on Jan. 4 and 10; here's the story I sent to papers:

"The Sixties": A chaotic decade stirs our affection


As the 1960s were unfolding, everything seemed bigger, brasher, more chaotic. Now, more than 40 years after it ended, the decade keeps providing compelling documentary TV. The latest example is "The Sixties," which debuts Thursday (May 27) on CNN. It's opener (about TV) is fairly interesting, but too crowded; many of the hours that follow are compelling. Here's the story I sent to papers:


"Chicagoland" brings fresh depth to documentaries



"Chicagoland," a terrific series, opened March 6 on CNN and continues -- Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays -- for eight weeks. Here's the story I sent to papers.

Wedged in the middle, CNN keeps re-inventing itself



This has been a hectic time for CNN, amid re-shuffling and re-inventing. The latest switch, announced this week, is to HLN (formerly Headline News), its short-form spin-off; it will become social media-oriented, forever watching what is trending,