CURRENT TV'S MULTI- AWARD-WINNING INVESTIGATIVE SERIES "VANGUARD" RETURNS FOR A HIGHLY ANTICIPATED FIFTH SEASON ON MONDAY, JUNE 20 AT 9:00 PM ET
New Seven Episode Season Includes "Gateway to Heroin" (airing 6/20), "Sex Lies & Cigarettes" (6/27),
"Sushi to the Slaughter" (7/11) and "City of God, Gangs & Guns" (7/18)
NEW YORK, MAY 10, 2011 - Current TV's signature series, "Vanguard," one of television's most celebrated news programs, will return for a highly anticipated fifth season of thought-provoking investigations beginning Monday, June 20th at 9:00 PM ET, immediately following the debut of Keith Olbermann's live week nightly show "Countdown" at 8:00 PM ET.
Each Monday night at 9:00 PM ET through August, the seven insightful new installments of "Vanguard," a weekly documentary series, explore a variety of global issues with broad social significance: the role of prescription pain killers in fueling a surge in heroin addiction, Big Tobacco's efforts to target a young new generation in the Third World, the decimation and impending disappearance of the Bluefin tuna and Brazil's efforts to clean up their "favelas" (slums), among others. A short preview of what's coming up is available here.
"Vanguard's" lauded correspondents Adam Yamaguchi, Christof Putzel and Mariana van Zeller go deep inside real-life dramas in pursuit of some of the world's most important stories, spending countless hours to put a human face on issues that too often get glossed over with a glib sound bite or two-minute tape package by other news outlets. Their passion and dedication to getting the story right has garnered viewers as well as accolades (most recently earning the series a Sports Emmy(R) nomination for "Best Sports Journalism" for 2010's "Soccer's Lost Boys").
"The new season of 'Vanguard' is entertaining, informative, and as viewers have come to expect, powerful," notes Ocean MacAdams, Current TV's SVP, Programming. "Each of these hours is storytelling at its finest. Whether it's Christof going one on one with the 'smoking baby' to shed light on Big Tobacco; or Mariana embedding with gun-toting drug dealers; or Adam taking on Asia's fishing trade to investigate what's really happening to the world's tuna population, 'Vanguard' puts it all on the line and tells the truth where others won't or can't."
Season Five Episodes Include:
"Gateway to Heroin"
Premiering Monday, June 20 at 9:00 PM ET
In a follow up to 2009's Peabody Award winning, "The Oxycontin Express," Mariana van Zeller explores how a heroin epidemic in Massachusetts is being fueled by a wave of prescription painkiller addiction amongst young people in the state. At $80 a pill in Massachusetts, a bad prescription habit can cost up to $800 a day, while heroin, costing $30 a bag or less and satisfying the same urge, provides addicts with a much cheaper alternative. "If you do the math on the number of pills addicts use every day, it becomes a stretch to believe that the family medicine cabinet is the source," says Mariana explaining that prescription drugs, primarily from Florida, have become as much a street drug in recent years as cocaine or crack.
"Sex, Lies & Cigarettes"
Premiering, Monday, June 27 at 9:00 PM ET
Christof Putzel exposes how big tobacco, facing stricter restrictions and regulations in the West, is now targeting third world countries and developing markets where young people are particularly vulnerable to marketing tactics long since outlawed in the U.S. and most industrialized nations. Christof's journey takes him to Indonesia where he finds and spends time with viral video sensation, "The Smoking Baby."
"Sushi to the Slaughter"
Premiering Monday, July 11 at 9:00 PM ET
Adam Yamaguchi, a ravenous sushi consumer since childhood, investigates what some warn is the impending extinction of the Bluefin Tuna - the premier delicacy in sushi circles. Adam, a Japanese-American, is forced to confront the same moral and practical dilemma now facing the tens of millions in his ancestral homeland who are responsible for 80% of the world's sushi consumption: Give up Bluefin, at least for now? Or risk losing it for good?
"City of God, Gangs & Guns"
Premiering, Monday July 18 at 9:00 PM ET
As Brazil prepares to take its place on the world stage hosting both the World Cup in 2014 and The Olympics in 2016, Mariana van Zeller goes inside Rio de Janeiro's aggressive campaign to clean up the city's storied favelas (slums), a bold initiative to wrest back control of these often lawless neighborhoods from drug gangs who've acted with impunity for as long as most Brazilians can remember. In the process, Rio hopes to combat the pervasive economic inequality that has plagued the city for decades.
Premiering, Monday July 25 at 9:00 PM ET
Adam Yamaguchi travels to South Asia where he investigates the illegal but lucrative black market for tigers and tiger parts, particularly in China, where the Wild Tiger is practically extinct. Adam exposes the sometimes-deplorable conditions in China's numerous Tiger Parks, government-run conservation centers that often appear to be anything but.
"This Illegal American Life"
Premiering, Monday August 8 at 9:00 PM ET
With an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants working and studying in the United States, Mariana van Zeller explores the personal stories of a group of UCLA college students who are in the country illegally and facing uncertain futures as they prepare to graduate in the months following the defeat of the "Dream Act". Mariana also visits with migrant workers in Oxnard, California and those awaiting deportation in a detention center in Arizona as she finds out what day to day life is really like for illegal immigrants here in America, at a time when their presence here has the country so bitterly divided.
Premiering, Monday August 15 at 9:00 PM ET
Through the eyes of the school principal and several students, Vanguard documents a year in the life of a public high school outside Boston dedicated to serving drug-addicted teenagers.
Launched in 2008, "Vanguard" has become one of the only multi-award winning long-form investigative documentary series on cable television. Its programming has showcased and provided in-depth perspectives on notable issues such as immigration, the drug trade and the environment. Committed to traveling to locations around the world, its correspondents include, Adam Yamaguchi, Christof Putzel, and Mariana van Zeller. Nominated for five Emmys, the series has become one of the most celebrated news programs in the United States, receiving prestigious awards for journalism including the Livingston Award, the Prism Award, the DuPont Award and the 2010 Peabody Award and the 2010 Television Academy Honor.
ABOUT CURRENT MEDIA:
Current Media, the Peabody-and Emmy Award-winning television and online network founded in 2005 by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, engages viewers with smart, provocative and timely programming -stories that no one else is telling in ways that no one else is telling them. Current's programming shines a light where others won't dare and boldly explores important subjects -- opening minds, sparking conversations and forming deep connections with its viewers. The channel's audience is comprised of affluent, curious, social and connected adults who crave the kind of entertaining, enlightening, witty and informative programming found on Current's TV and online properties. Current is now available via cable and satellite TV in 75 million households worldwide - 60 million households in the US - through distribution partners Comcast (Channel 107); Time Warner; DirecTV (Channel 358 nationwide); Dish Network (Channel 196 nationwide); Verizon and AT&T. In the UK and Ireland, Current is available on BSkyB (Channel 183) and Virgin Media (Channel 155), and in Italy, Current is available on Sky Italia (Channel 130). Viewers can also find Current online at www.current.com.