Farewell, No Reservations, we knew ye well. (You were pretty great too, The Layover.) The travel show for the unconventional, the adventurous, and the occasional Punk has breathed its last breath: host and unbridled Travel Channel personality Anthony Bourdain is packing his bags for new, more mainstream territory. The celebrity chef has just signed a deal with news network CNN to air a Sunday night travel show and act as a contributor on CNN's other programs. So does this signal the end of the outspoken New Jersey-bred Punk we all know and love?
Perhaps. Bourdain's new series is set to air in 2013 as part of CNN's attempt to add lifestyle coverage to its lineup, and the untitled series' description doesn't fall far from its Travel Channel-based tree: According to CNN, "the show will be shot on location and examine cultures from around the world through their food and dining and travel rituals." The series also boasts the same production team as No Reservations. So far so good.
The only question now is whether or not a news network with as much visibility as CNN has will allow Bourdain to wield his uncensored expertise as freely he did on the specialty cable network. Will we have to catch Bourdain at one of his numerous public appearances or letting loose in his books to witness such controversial gems as his Absinthe-laden journey in Paris, his "Happy" (see: Marijuana-laced) pizza in Cambodia, or his New-York-ego-shattering declaration that Chicago boasts the world's best hot dogs?
So far, CNN seems to be aboard the Bourdain train, releasing a string of compliments about the food world personality in a statement: "Examining the world through the prism of Tony’s unique expertise and passions continues CNN’s long-standing commitment to international reporting and to promoting global understanding." The words "unique" and "prism" are just vague enough to give us hope that CNN won't be squandering its latest acquisition. Besides, if they are willing to let Anderson Cooper go to Giggle Fit Land every time he makes a Gérard Depardieu potty pun, there's really no reason Bourdain shouldn't have the freedom to drop bleeped F-bombs and partake in some locales' greener delights from time to time.
And just in case we've seen our last debaucherous Tony-meets-food encounter, let's take a moment to reminisce with a little "Happy Pizza": [Image: Travel Channel] More: Anthony Bourdain Eats Bull Testicles - VIDEO Why Anthony Bourdain's The Layover Works [CNN]
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An interfaith religion special revisiting the tragedy of Cambodia and the work of religious groups and survivors to create a modern society.
In Cambodia (1975-78), Pol Pot led his Khmer Rouge forces on a rampage to destroy all signs of Western culture. He killed almost two million people, mostly middle class, educated and urban. He wanted to build an agrarian culture free of any taint of the West. He destroyed cities, towns, schools, factories and modern machines and brutalized the people. But, the survivors, aided by a mix of church related organizations and help from the United Nations, have refused to let those years continue to destroy them. They are reclaiming their culture and rebuilding their cities and villages.