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It’s Not TV, It’s HBO Documentaries

A Jane Fonda documentary and a new Ronan Farrow series will be part of HBO’s non-fiction slate.
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By  · Published on January 12th, 2018

A Jane Fonda documentary and a new Ronan Farrow series will be part of HBO’s non-fiction slate.

HBO has boosted its documentary slate by adding some strong Hollywood and journalistic personalities to the network’s line-up. Deadline reports that Susan Lacy’s Jane Fonda documentary, Jane Fonda in Five Acts, will be broadcast on HBO after the film’s upcoming premiere at Sundance. Meanwhile, Ronan Farrow has signed a 3-year deal with HBO to develop and lead a series of investigative specials.

Jane Fonda in Five Acts puts Fonda’s life under the microscope. Born out of over 21 hours of interview footage, award-winning documentarian Lacy pieces together an honest, candid picture of Fonda despite covering some darker aspects of her life. Jane Fonda in Five Acts seems to cover similar ground to many celebrity documentaries, giving context to Fonda’s life using home movies as well as capturing her day-to-day activities verité style. The film will also include interviews with friends and family such as Robert Redford, Lily Tomlin, producer Paula Weinstein and Fonda’s former spouses, Tom Hayden and Ted Turner.

Farrow’s investigative series comes in the wake of his searing reporting at The New Yorker which helped kickstart a movement against sexual abuse and harassment in the entertainment industry. Basing his first piece on a revelatory New York Times report by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, Farrow wrote several exposés back-to-back about Harvey Weinstein’s assaults and the culture of violence against women in the film industry. His deal with HBO will include the longer-form specials and shorter pieces for other HBO platforms. HBO president of programming Casey Bloys commented enthusiastically about the deal:

“Ronan Farrow’s extraordinary, revelatory reporting for The New Yorker has helped to propel a string of other investigations, breakthroughs, and overdue conversations. His work has contributed to this watershed moment in our culture, and we are excited to provide a platform for this dogged reporter to pursue projects that continue to speak truth to power.”

These new additions to the HBO line-up ensure a focus on human-interest stories that look back on legacy and forward to the future. Jane Fonda in Five Acts will be an intimate look into the life and legend of an icon. Although Farrow’s investigative series has no set theme, there’s little doubt that his vibrant reporting will come to life on HBO.

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Sheryl Oh often finds herself fascinated (and let's be real, a little obsessed) with actors and their onscreen accomplishments, developing Film School Rejects' Filmographies column as a passion project. She's not very good at Twitter but find her at @sherhorowitz anyway. (She/Her)