Two months. Yes, it’s been nearly two months since the passing of television’s food and travel icon Anthony Bourdain. His death was almost as fascinating as his life, a stark and incomprehensible reminder that the fragility of the human mind can overcome any of us, no matter who you are or what perceived happiness may be.
Following the two months of disbelief, Bourdain’s most recent television home, CNN, has quietly and respectfully announced that his latest project for Parts Unknown is set to begin airing in the coming weeks.
The LA Times spoke with CNN’s Amy Entelis, who confirmed that “Only one episode — a trip to Kenya with W. Kamau Bell, the host of CNN’s United Shades of America — was completed before Bourdain’s death. It will be the last to have Bourdain’s written narration, which gives the series its personal tone.”
“Four others set in Manhattan’s Lower East Side – in addition to the Big Bend area of Texas along the border of Mexico, the Asturias region of Spain and Indonesia – will be completed by the directors who filmed them for the show’s production company Zero Point Zero. They will use audio of Bourdain gathered while shooting on location. Follow-up interviews are also being shot to help tie elements of the episodes together.”
“Each one will feel slightly different depending on what’s gathered in the field,” Entelis said. “They will have the full presence of Tony because you’ll see him, you’ll hear him, you’ll watch him. That layer of his narration will be missing, but it will be replaced by other voices of people who are in the episodes.”
The final two episodes will be reserved as tributes to the celebrated host and the series. The penultimate show will take a look back at the production of Parts Unknown with candid behind the scenes footage of how the series was brought to life from conception to shooting. The final episode, which will undoubtedly trigger the tears, will be more of a macro view on Bourdain’s life; a moving tribute to the man both as a person and as a champion not just of the food and travel world, but of humanity as a whole.
CNN has confirmed that there are no plans to continue to series after the tribute episode and Parts Unknown will be laid to rest as one of the most influential and impactful reality television series in history. We can expect a North American air date towards the end of August.
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