Showtime announced on Tuesday that it acquired the rights to “Vice” and ordered a 13-episode season to run in spring 2020.
The weekly docu-series was produced by Vice Media and lived on HBO for six seasons before the network canceled it in February amid the company’s restructuring (HBO and CNN are owned by WarnerMedia).
Vice’s previous documentary work won two Emmys and garnered fame for chronicling former basketball star Dennis Rodman’s visit to North Korea in 2013.
It’s debatable whether making Showtime its new home will give Vice as much prestige as it had when it lived on HBO, which took home the highest-number of Emmys on Sunday. Showtime is home to the award-winning series “Homeland” and the hit show “Billions,” and its documentary films include “The Circus,” “Murder in the Bayou” and “Shangri-La.”
“Our team of award-winning reporters, producers and editors have set the tone for gold-standard longform international reporting and we can’t wait to bring those stories to Showtime, who share our passion for quality storytelling, differentiated and important journalism, and distinctive voices that capture the critical issues facing our world today,” Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc said in a statement on Tuesday.
HBO was also previously the home of Vice’s daily show “Vice News Tonight,” which premiered in 2016 and was canceled by the network in June.
“Vice News Tonight” is returning to TV on Viceland, the cable network run by Vice Media and A+E Networks, Deadline reported in August. That report also said Vice Media was in conversation with “premium and streaming networks about branded news content.”
Showtime’s executive vice president, nonfiction programming, Vinnie Malhotra, praised Vice in Tuesday’s announcement for its “dogged pursuit of award-winning journalism…matched by stellar filmmaking and craft in this weekly documentary series. We’re honored and excited to partner with them moving forward.”
It’s been a tumultuous year for Vice. Dubuc, former A&E president, took the CEO reins from founder Shane Smith in early 2018. In February, Vice laid off 10% of its staff, about 250 employees. In April, Vice cancelled “Vice Live,” its live weeknight show just weeks after its debut. And in May, the Walt Disney Company disclosed a $353 million writedown on its investment during its second quarter earnings report.