CNN is bringing us one final season of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown this fall. Bourdain, a beloved author, chef and host of his very popular and acclaimed travel show, tragically passed away in June while filming an episode of Parts Unknown. Bourdain took his own life and fans as well as those in the industry who knew him have been mourning his loss ever since. CNN will do their best to honor his legacy by completing the unfinished final season of his series.
Prior to his passing, Anthony Bourdain had only completed one episode. The episode in question involved a trip to Kenya with W. Kamau Bell, the host of CNN's United Shades of America. This particular episode will be the last to have Bourdain's written narration, which was a staple of each episode in the series and helped to inject his personality into it. Amy Entelis, CNN executive vice president of talent and content, who helped launch Parts Unknown in 2013, had this to say about the show's upcoming final season.
"Each one will feel slightly different depending on what's gathered in the field. They will have the full presence of Tony because you'll see him, you'll hear him, you'll watch him. That layer of his narration will be missing, but it will be replaced by other voices of people who are in the episodes."
The remaining episodes that weren't completed prior to the host's passing include adventures in Manhattan's Lower East Side, the Big Ben area of Texas, the U.S.-Mexico border, the Asturias region of Spain and Indonesia. The penultimate episode of Parts Unknown season 12 will have cast and crew talking about the making of the series. CNN will make use of outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage. The last episode will be devoted to "how Tony affected the world," according to Amy Entelis. Beyond these final two episodes, she says CNN will not use archival footage to produce more Parts Unknown content. "We don't want to start putting things together that weren't meant to be," she said.
CNN saw huge ratings, critical acclaim and ad revenue from Parts Unknown, which helped anchor their produced programming lineup. While the network has no plans on rebooting the series without Anthony Bourdain, Amy Entelis says they still want to find something that can capture that same spirit moving forward.
"What Tony did was inimitable. What we want to do is find a show that captures what Tony is all about. It might be a very different show and look nothing like 'Parts Unknown."
Anthony Bourdain received a posthumous Emmy nomination for his work on the series recently, with the show earning a total of six nominations. The network has yet to announce a premiere date for Parts Unknown season 12 but it will be part of their fall lineup. This news comes to us courtesy of the L.A. Times.