The Warner Bros. Discovery merger has potentially claimed yet another victim. As reported by Variety, Stanley Tucci: Searching For Italy is being put on the back burner as CNN continues to change up its strategy. While the Julie & Julia actor’s beloved food and travel series has yet to be outright canceled, things aren’t looking good.
“Our long-term plan will no longer rely on commissioned projects with outside partners,” writes chairman and CEO of CNN Chris Licht in an employee memo. “This was a very difficult decision to make, and it was based, in large part, on the ever-increasing cost of commissioning third-party premium content. However, I want to be clear that longform content remains an important pillar of our programming.”
Stanley Tucci: Searching For Italy is produced by RAW for CNN. Variety’s report suggests that food shows will be first on the chopping block, and the network also has (More Than) A Cooking Show With Alison Roman scheduled to premiere this fall. The controversial former Bon Appétit writer’s series is similarly a co-production with Zero Point Zero. CNN’s programming slate for 2023 will include just six series and six films.
While most of the attention on new Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s ruthless pursuit of dropping $3 billion in costs has been focused on HBO Max and Batgirl, cuts have been made across various brands, and the streamer CNN+ was shut down almost immediately after its launch. There is also the question of how much money axing Stanley Tucci: Searching For Italy would actually save, given that the Italian culture ministry offers film and TV productions up to 40% in tax credits, though it is unclear if the show benefits from this program.
Stanley Tucci: Searching For Italy launched in 2021 to significant acclaim. The show’s second season was broken into multiple installments, and the back half began airing weekly on October 9, with new episodes seeing the actor exploring the cuisines of Liguria, Puglia, Sardinia, and Calabria. A sibling series, Eva Longoria: Searching For Mexico, is scheduled to air next year.