EXCLUSIVE: Samantha Bee and Soledad O’Brien are teaming up to tackle the women’s healthcare crisis in the U.S.
Deadline understands that the pair are to front a comedic docuseries on the topic.
It marks a familiar territory for both Bee and O’Brien; Bee regularly covered the topic, including abortion rights, on her TBS show Full Frontal and former CNN anchor O’Brien has hosted and produced a number of documentaries that touch on the subject including CNN special Black in America.
The project marks Bee’s first since Full Frontal was axed at TBS following the creation of Warner Bros. Discovery.
Bee’s Swimsuit Competition and O’Brien’s SOB Productions were already developing a series about woman’s health that was to be hosted by others when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and they decided to front it themselves. They are looking to mix journalism and comedy in the untitled series, which they’ll take out to buyers soon.
It will cover the “urgent mess” that is women’s health care in America from abortion rights and birth control to the wellness industry which has preyed on the lack of information and care available to women. It aims to be an antidote to misinformation and a view into how America has utterly failed women
The duo will go out into the world to investigate, point out hypocrisies, and force people to consider valuable solutions. From the women trying to figure out how to get care to the politicians trying to regulate women’s bodies, the pair will be boots on the ground and they say that they’re “done using their inside voices”.
They’ll look at why U.S. women are sicker, more stressed, and die younger compared to women in other high-income countries, why women in the U.S are more likely to have issues paying their medical bills, have higher rates of chronic illness and are among the least likely to report having a doctor they see regularly, such as a primary care physician and why American women also have the highest rates of death from avoidable causes as well as a particularly focus on why Black women are especially vulnerable to deadly pregnancy complications with nearly three times more likely to die due to them than white women.
Working with Bee and O’Brien are writer and producers Sasha Stewart and Keisha Zollar. Stewart recently worked on Netflix’s Amend: The Fight For America and has written for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. Zoller was a supervising producer on Hulu’s Mike Tyson limited series Mike, worked on the U.S. adaptation of Would I Lie To You? and was co-exec producer of NBC’s Sketchy Times with Lilly Singh and co-creator of Netflix’s Astronomy Club: The Sketch Show.
Samantha Bee said, “This show is for anyone who’s ever casually mentioned endometriosis at a brunch, and then needed twelve more hours of mimosas to handle the ensuing show-and-tell of ailments.”
Soledad O’Brien added, “To put it bluntly, women’s health is a shit show and it’s far past time to shine a light on how 51% of our country is neglected, overlooked and misled when it comes to healthcare. In the wake of Roe being overturned, this show is not just relevant, it is absolutely necessary because women’s lives are on the line.”