FROM EXECUTIVE PRODUCER PETER BERG, VETERAN WAR CORRESPONDENT MICHAEL WARE TAKES VIEWERS ON A WILD, GRITTY JOURNEY IN NEW NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SERIES "UNCENSORED WITH MICHAEL WARE"
Follow World-Renowned Journalist Ware as He Enters New Front Lines to Lift the Veil on Unique and Often Controversial Cultures: From Meeting with the Leader of the Female-Run Military Group That Wants to Overthrow Iran to Embedding With a Gang of Russian Bikers to Behind-the-Scenes Access to NYC's Fashion Week
New Eight-Episode Series Uncensored With Michael Ware
Premieres Jan. 24 at 10/9c on National Geographic
(Washington, DC - Jan. 12, 2017) Audacious journalist Michael Ware is best known for his coverage as a war correspondent, spending nearly a decade of his life in some of the most brutal and hostile combat zones on the planet. Famous for his coverage of the Iraq War, Ware was given access that he deemed to be frightening, witnessing the horrors of war and the birth of ISIS. Now, in National Geographic's new eight-episode series UNCENSORED WITH MICHAEL WARE, Ware is leaving the trenches to embark on a new adventure as he investigates some of the most fascinating people, places and cultures on the planet. Ware brings his style of gritty, unapologetic journalism to some of the world's buzziest areas, ranging from the rough and savage highlands of Papua New Guinea - where women who are thought to be witches are hunted and killed - to the glamorous streets of Los Angeles where celebrities are sought out and snapped by paparazzi. UNCENSORED WITH MICHAEL WARE premieres on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 10/9c on National Geographic and globally in 171 countries and in 45 languages on Sunday, March 19.
For Ware, some locations and stories are close to home, like investigating the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq - or MEK - an Iranian dissident group that he met during the Iraq War. Ware is on a mission to find out how this group - considered to be freedom fighters by some and terrorists by others - is making an impact today. Other stories push Ware far outside his comfort zone, like rubbing elbows with celebrities and the sartorial elite during New York City's infamous Fashion Week where Ware searches for meaning among the runways and flashing lights.
Along the way, Ware stays true to his journalistic roots, employing his run-and-gun approach to storytelling, where he covers the story from every angle, collecting facts and leads any way he can. Everyone is a source. Rather than straight-to-camera talking-head interviews, Ware digs deeper into his subjects' stories by interacting with them, asking questions and discussing and dissecting their answers. Viewers become witnesses, involved with the subjects Ware comes across as they ride shotgun with him and his small, relentless crew; from the moment they touch down to the moment they find their truth, cameras are always rolling - often Ware's own wobbly handheld.
"I've traveled all over the world trying to understand the lives of so many different individuals, but this project is different than any other I've worked on," said Ware. "It's a departure from what I've done in the past ... we all become a part of the voyage, and viewers will be able to experience the crazy ride with me."
Said Executive Producer Peter Berg, "Michael and I bond over our passion for honest storytelling. I admire his bravery as a journalist and his ability to find the humanity in the inhumane. I cannot wait for viewers to embark on this wild and exciting journey with Michael."
Stories from UNCENSORED WITH MICHAEL WARE will include:
· Papua New Guinea: Ware's first stop is Papua New Guinea, an island nation clawing its way into the modern world, but dragging with it ancient traditions of witchcraft and sorcery. Ware is here to investigate one of the country's storied and highly controversial practices: Women who are thought to be witches are hunted and killed. With help from his local contacts, Ware finds people willing to open up about their country's practices and interviews those who believe women like her deserve to die. He encounters an accused witch, talking to her before the men from the village seek her out and brutally attack her.
· MeK: Ware gains insider access to the Iranian dissident group the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MeK). Their goal is to overrun Iran. Teenagers flock to join - to drive tanks, to learn infantry skills, to fight - and to die. Ware travels to see the women fighters who he has previously interviewed and find out where they are now, what has become of them and if any of them are still alive.
· NYC's Fashion Week: Ware travels deep into the heart of New York City during one of the busiest times of the year - Fashion Week. As the city pulses with pageantry, runway shows, models, celebrities and chic elite, Ware tries to find meaning in the enigmatic fashion world.
· Swaziland: King Mswati III is the last remaining absolute monarch of Africa, ruling over the entire kingdom of Swaziland and its people. The western media portrays Swaziland as a struggling nation, its population suffering beneath the rule of a self-absorbed king. But what is the truth behind these headlines? Ware journeys deep into the monarchy to find out what it's like to be one of the world's last true kings.
· Cuba: Ware explores the rich culture of one of the world's last great communist regimes to discover the state of the revolution.
· Los Angeles: Ware is embedded with paparazzi to find out what exactly they go through to get the photos fans crave that get plastered all over tabloids. He stands by the celebrity entrance of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!," waits outside Catch night club with Kevin Smith and stands by the arrivals terminal at LAX.
In the eight-episode series, UNCENSORED WITH MICHAEL WARE, viewers gain unprecedented insider access to the life of a world-renowned journalist as he drops the veil on what it's really like to be a journalist in some of the world's most coveted, frightening and inspiring locations.
UNCENSORED WITH MICHAEL WARE is created by Justine A. Rosenthal, the former executive editor of the global newsmagazine Newsweek. It is executive produced by Peter Berg, Michael Ware, Matthew Goldberg, Brandon Carroll and Mick Lawrence for Film 45. For National Geographic, Michael J. Miller serves as executive producer, vice president of production is Kevin TaoMohs and president of programming and production is Tim Pastore.
About Michael Ware:
Michael Ware was one of the few western journalists to live full time in Iraq during the war. He began his Middle East career as Time magazine's correspondent in Afghanistan in late 2001 - just months after the attacks of 9/11 - but headed to Iraq prior to the coalition's invasion in 2003. He was soon appointed Baghdad bureau chief and wrote numerous articles detailing the war, including cover stories from Fallujah and Tal'Afar. In May 2006 he moved to CNN and lived at its Baghdad bureau for more than three years before relocating to New York City in order to cover a number of conflict zones around the world, including not only Iraq but also Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Mexico. Ware last reported for CNN in December 2009. A few years later he started making a feature film about his time in the war zone and formed his own production company, Penance Films, for that project as well as future releases. His first feature-length documentary, "Only the Dead," was released in 2015.
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National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic's media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children's media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 128 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers... and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 171 countries and 45 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.