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Great Big Story

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Launched in 2015 by CNN, Great Big Story is a global media company that creates micro-documentaries and short films about offbeat places and people -- "the untold, the overlooked and the flat-out amazing," the network says. The video venture was originally available via social media channels only, but now CNN's sister channel HLN brings a sampling of Great Big Story's content to linear TV with a series of videos. It takes viewers around the world to wondrous places and introduces trailblazers, innovators, and risk-takers who inspire people to see the good in humanity.

Latest episodes

aired 822 days ago
The stories of people who are changing the world with acts of kindness.
aired 823 days ago
Featuring families whose bonds and dynamics prove that nothing is stronger than blood.
aired 823 days ago
A guide to surprising, tasty and local foods not widely known.
aired 823 days ago
Highlighting the people who refuse to be defined by their limitations and who set their own standard for living.
aired 824 days ago
A tour of the inspiring, the unknown and the downright quirky places that make up the United States of America.
aired 824 days ago
Showcasing the connection and compassion people have for their animal friends.

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From local news and sports reporter to correspondent on ABC's "Good Morning America" and "Nightline," Bill Weir has taken a varied path in his journalism career. Another turn came when he joined CNN in 2013 to develop original programming, giving birth to "The Wonder List." In hourlong episodes, Weir travels with cinematographer Philip Bloom to five continents to tell stories of extraordinary people, places, cultures and creatures, which are at a crossroads. In a world of rapid change, how is the intrusion of modernization, climate change and tourism affecting the Galapagos, the Greek island Ikaria, the French Alps, the Dead Sea, the Florida Everglades, India, Venice, and Vanuatu, an island chain in the South Pacific? In 2050, will there still be tigers in the wild? Will the Taj Mahal still be standing? Will there still be Alps to climb and ski? "We set out to create time capsules of places we all agree are precious," Weir says.
Hosted by Emmy Award-winning journalist Carlos Watson, "Breaking Big" centers on the unusual paths followed by men and women who overcame obstacles to reach their goals. Artists, innovators, athletes and leaders relay their most difficult or serendipitous moments that led to the big breaks that made their careers. Featured interviews include country singer Jason Aldean, Academy Award-winning director Lee Daniels, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.
How did we get here? How did humankind evolve from apes swinging in trees to astronauts walking on the moon? National Geographic's eight-part time-travel adventure series delves deep into history to highlight pivotal "origin" moments that fundamentally and irrevocably created modern living. Host Jason Silva ("Brain Games") guides viewers through a dazzling audio-visual portal to explore these events, such as the discoveries and applications of fire, medicine, money and transportation, while experts across each field inject commentary. The series also incorporates scripted storytelling and documentary sequences.
This six-hour documentary series chronicles 200,000 years of Africa's untold history, beginning with the origin of man and the formation of early human societies. Hosted by Emmy Award-winning Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., the series details significant historical events, including the rise of African kingdoms and the growth of trade networks with the Middle East, Europe and China. The series also traces the roots of agriculture, writing, artistic expression and iron working.
Julia Child melded TV and food 50 or so years ago. Now with scads of celebrity chefs, cooking shows, and networks devoted to it, cuisine is even more popular. National Geographic Channel's six-hour miniseries salutes its history, science and culture. Each episode tackles a central theme: revolutionaries, meat, sugar, seafood, junk food, and grains -- with stories and reflections by a smorgasbord of chefs, authors, scientists, etc. Interviewees include Padma Lakshmi, Nigella Lawson, Simon Majumdar, Rachael Ray, Marcus Samuelsson, Anna Boiardi and Graham Elliot.
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"Soundbreaking" is an eight-part documentary exploring the history of music recording. The series profiles accomplished artists, producers and music innovators, and features original interviews and clips. Studios and pioneering technology are tracked through time, revealing the evolution of recording. Episodes discuss how recordings became visual when MTV popularized music videos and how each generation had its own medium to play tracks, from vinyl to CD.