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Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

  • Premiered: 
    April 14, 2013
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: CNN
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Reality
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Followup series to Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations 
  • Subject Matter:
  • Tags: travel, food

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Plot Synopsis

ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN follows world-renowned chef and bestselling author Anthony Bourdain, as he travels the across the globe to uncover little-known areas of the world and celebrates diverse cultures by exploring food and dining rituals. Bourdain goes off the beaten path of tourist destinations -- including some war-torn parts of the world -- and meets with a variety of local citizens to offer a window into their lifestyles, and occasionally communes with an internationally lauded chef on his journeys. In each 60-minute episode, Bourdain travels to a different region of the world, including Myanmar, Los Angeles, Colobmia, Canada, Morocco, Libya, Peru and Congo. In the premiere episode, Bourdain's maiden voyage takes him to Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma, where Bourdain and his crew discover the fabled beauty and local cuisines of a country that had been, up until recently, off-limits to outsiders. On Sunday, September 15, 2013 at 8pm ET/PT, CNN aired the Season 2 premiere of ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN, as Anthony toured Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, the first time he had filmed in these locations. Later in Season 2, Anthony visited Spain, New Mexico, Copenhagen, Sicily, Tokyo, Detroit, and South Africa. CNN aired the Season 3 premiere of ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN on Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 9pm ET/PT. In the Season 3 opener, Anthony explored he people, food, culture and history of India's Punjab region. Later in Season 3, Anthony took excursions to: Las Vegas; Lyon, France; Mexico City; the Mississippi Delta; Russia; Bahia, Brazil; and Thailand. ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN returned for its fourth season on Sunday, September 28, 2014 at 9pm ET/PT on CNN, immediately following "Prime Cuts Season Three," a one-hour special that takes a look back at the previous season featuring recaps, outtakes and commentary. In the season opener, Anthony explores Shanghai by savoring classic, home-style cuisine at restaurants that include Chun and Fuchun Xiaolong, and converses with locals who give their take on their country's booming economy and expanding global influence. Later in Season 4, Anthony travels to The Bronx, Vietnam, Massachusetts, Tanzania, Jamaica, Paraguay, and Iran. On Sunday, April 26, 2015 at 9pm ET/PT, CNN premiered the eight-episode fifth season of ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN, immediately following the latest edition of "Prime Cuts," a one-hour special from 8-9pm that takes a look back at Season 4 and reveal highlights for the new season. In the Season 5 opener, Anthony takes a tour of the forward-looking culture of South Korea with each scene presented in reverse order. The fifth season also features trips to Miami, Scotland, Madagascar, New Jersey, Budapest, Hawaii and Beirut. Season 6 of ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN premiered on Sunday, September 27, 2015 at 9pm ET/PT on CNN, immediately following a one-hour special, "Prime Cuts: Season 5," with special highlights from the previous season. In the Season 6 premiere, Bourdain explores Cuba -- just as the half-century U.S. embargo softens and economic and social progress loom -- from its bustling capital city Havana, to the slower paced, music mecca Santiago. Sampled food includes pig's head soup with plantains and pumpkin, flan in a beer can, and dogfish ceviche with pickled vegetables. The tour culminates with a dialogue-free tracking shot capturing the hopeful anxiety of its people, seemingly waiting for something to start. Later in the eight-episode sixth season, Bourdain travels to: Marseille, France; Okinawa, Japan; Ethiopia; Bay Area; Borneo; Istanbul; and Charleston, SC. The seventh season of ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN premiered on Sunday, April 24, 2016 at 9pm ET/PT on CNN, immediately following "Prime Cuts Season 6," a one-hour special featuring the best moments of the previous season. In the Season 7 premiere, Bourdain explores the Philippines during Christmas season and travels through the festive streets of Manila to taste the fast food wonder Jollibee, try the sweet, milky drink, Halo-Halo, and indulge in the classic dish, Sizzling Pork Sisig. The trip continues with the host accompanied by cover band Keystone, as they dine on Adobo, a simmered pork-chicken dish. The tour concludes with a family meal of Kare-Kare and the opening of the Balikbayan box. The eight-episode season also features trips to the Greek Islands, Chicago, Montana, Georgia, Cologne, Buenos Aires and Senegal. The nine-episode eighth season of PARTS UNKNOWN premiered on Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 9pm ET/PT on CNN. In the season opener, Bourdain joins the throngs of locals as he motorbikes through Vietnam's capital, traverses Hanoi's rapidly changing cityscape, and indulges in its singular cuisine with president Barack Obama, who, over a dish of Bun Cha, shares personal stories and reflects on his own international travels. In subsequent episodes, Bourdain takes tours of Nashville, Sichuan, London, Houston, Japan, Minas Gerais, Buenos Aires, and Rome. On Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 9pm ET/PT, CNN premiered the ninth season of PARTS UNKNOWN, beginning the new season with an alternative tour of Los Angeles by Bourdain, who focuses on the impact and contributions of its less photographed and often overlooked Latino communities. From downtown -- for Oaxaqueno specialties at Gish Bac and redefined Mexican food from chef Ray Garcia at Broken Spanish -- to Hollywood -- for a health-conscious but savory dinner with actor Danny Trejo at Trejo's Cantina -- the host experiences this vibrant culture against a backdrop of LA glamour. The eight-episode season also features tours of San Sebastian; Laos; Queens, NY; Antarctica; Oman; Trinidad; and Porto, Portugal. Season 10 of PARTS UNKNOWN premiered on Sunday, October 1, 2017 at 9pm ET/PT on CNN, immediately following "Prime Cuts: Through the Seasons," a new, one-hour special that debuted at 8pm. In the special (8pm), series executive producer Chris Collins asks Bourdain to reflect upon the 10 seasons of Parts Unknown. Then, in the season opener (9pm), Bourdain tours the historically rich streets of Singapore and immerses himself in the vast array of multicultural foods found throughout this island city-state. An old-school style prawn mee lunch with his go-to Singaporean food guide, KF Seetoh, and a trip down to the Muslim quarter for a soup-like dish of wontons, rice cake, coconut gravy, vegetables, and hard boiled eggs are included in the host's cuisine-driven excursion. Bourdain also explores the dichotomy of Singapore society that is known for its tolerance of diverse cultures, generous social services, and sanctioned diversions (ex. legalized brothels, casinos), and the restriction of such basic civil liberties as freedom of the press and privacy. In subsequent episodes, Bourdain travels to: the French Alps (scheduled airdate: October 8); Lagos, Nigeria (October 15); Pittsburgh (October 22); Sri Lanka (October 29); Puerto Rico (November 5); Seattle (November 12); and Southern Italy (November 26). On Sunday, November 12, 2017 from 9-11pm ET/PT, CNN premiered "Anthony Bourdain Presents Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent," a two-hour special directed by Lydia Tenaglia. By the time he launched his own legendary restaurant, Stars, celebrated chef Jeremiah Tower had already created his revolutionary "Northern California Regional Menu" in October 1976 at Chez Panisse. The menu's distinctly New American style forever changed the American palate and influenced generations of chefs and restaurants that still follow in his footsteps. Tenaglia crafts a multidimensional portrait through sumptuous reenactments of scenes from Tower's peripatetic childhood, capturing the luxuries of living on cruise ships, extended visits to opulent resorts, and a casual flirtation with the hippie lifestyle in early adulthood. Tenaglia's deft direction weaves a complex, sensitive understanding of Tower through a seamless blend of media formats. Tower family home movies and still photographs bring the chef's diarized memories to life. College friends encouraged Tower's enthusiasm for cooking and entertaining, which led to his move to Berkeley, his formative meeting with Alice Waters, and launched a career that reached both the highest culinary honors as well as heights of social currency. Tower's storied Stars restaurant in San Francisco catered nightly to glamourous luminaries like Mikhail Gorbachev, socialite Denise Hale, artist Andy Warhol, chef Julia Child, and local characters alike. Archival footage and press accounts add to the illustrations of Tower's tenures at Chez Panisse and Stars. Contemporary interviews with Tower, his relatives and Harvard College classmates, as well as Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck, Martha Stewart, Mark Franz, and Ruth Reichl slowly reveal the chef's life, rise, ever-present discipline, and an inner drive for excellence that does not fully mask a discernible loneliness. Then, suddenly, both the story and the narrative of the film change. Tower's empire was sold by him and then soon shuttered by the new owners. Tower disappeared from the scene for nearly two decades, only to resurface in the most unlikely of places: as head chef for New York City's fabled, but troubled Tavern on the Green restaurant. Tower's surprise landing at Tavern came during post-production of the film. Tenaglia pieces together these sections of the film as a solution to a mystery. The events that follow quicken the pace of Tenaglia's subtle, perceptive storytelling, continuing Tower's tale of self-discovery that will feel familiar to anyone who has ever imagined themselves to be an artist or a dreamer. On Sunday, April 29, 2018 from 9-10:15pm ET/PT, CNN premiered the eight-episode eleventh season of PARTS UNKNOWN, as Anthony travels the globe in a celebration of diverse foods and culture, taking tours of Newfoundland, Uruguay, Armenia, Bhutan, Berlin, U.S. Cajun country, and Hong Kong. In the extended season opener, Bourdain digs deep into the proud, often misunderstood culture of West Virginia, as he traverses a 5,000-foot mine, observes the demolition derby-like sport of rock-bouncing and dines on signature Appalachian dishes. Bourdain's own preconceptions are dashed as he finds the West Virginian attitude to be a remarkable dichotomy, both resolute and open-minded. Over an assortment of local dishes -- snapping turtle patties, squirrel gravy, pawpaw ice cream, spaghetti pie, and bear meat -- residents candidly discuss their staunch views on the second amendment, Donald Trump, life beyond the coal industry, and the reclamation of West Virginian cuisine. The twelfth and final season of PARTS UNKNOWN premiered on Sunday, September 23, 2018 from 9-10:15pm ET/PT on CNN. Filming for Season 12 had been in progress when Bourdain passed away on June 8, 2018. In addition to one episode that includes the host's narration (Kenya), there are four other location-based shows -- Spain (Sep 30) Indonesia (Oct 7), West Texas (Oct 21), and New York City's Lower East Side (Nov 11) -- plus two specials (Oct 14 & 28) in the seven-episode season. In the 75-minute season opener, Bourdain introduces W. Kamau Bell to the distinctive sights, tastes, and sounds of Kenya. It is Bell's first trip to the African continent, and to a country that holds a personal connection for him. In Nairobi, they talk to locals about the country's growth and economic challenges, as well as the continual fight for identity and self-definition of Kenyans. Bourdain and Bell also take a Matatu party bus ride, share a meal of goat's head soup and visit a boxing academy devoted to teaching young women, and promoting female empowerment. Leaving Nairobi the pair travel to Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and visit with a Maasai community actively engaged in conservation. Through the eyes of Bourdain and Bell, and their first experiences with this highly dynamic deeply, soulful and beautiful country we ask, what will a future Kenya...for Kenyans...look like?
On Sunday, November 11, 2018 from 9-10:15pm ET, CNN premiered the series finale of PARTS UNKNOWN. In the series ender, "Lower East Side," Bourdain takes a personal journey through this formerly bohemian New York City neighborhood, as he meets, shares meals, and reflects with music, film and art trailblazers including Richard Hell, Deborah Harry and Chris Stein, Lydia Lunch, Fab 5 Freddy, Danny Fields, Amos Poe, Jim Jarmusch, Kembra Pfahler, John Lurie, Clayton Patterson and Harley Flanagan, whose collective cultural impact in the 1970s and '80s has sustained through the decades.


Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Zero Point Zero Productions