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United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell

United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell

  • Premiered: 
    April 24, 2016
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: CNN
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Current Events
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Plot Synopsis

UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA is a one-hour series that follows comedian and political gadfly W. Kamau Bell as he accepts the challenge to boldly explore the far corners of America and its various groups and subcultures. Along the way, he asks questions, gets himself into some awkward and at times unpredictable situations, and makes people laugh. Kamau travels from the far corners of Alaska to Florida's retirement homes to America's most notorious prison, revealing the diverse and colorful definitions of America. In the premiere episode, Kamau heads to the South to challenge the 'new' Ku Klux Klan. This generation of Klansmen claims they have rebranded and Kamau must see for himself.

On Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 10pm ET/PT, CNN premiered the eight-episode second season of UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA WITH W. KAMAU BELL. The second season covers topical issues including immigration, gun control and violence in Chicago, as well as explores the experiences of Muslims, Puerto Ricans, Chinese Americans and Native Americans in this country. In the season two premiere, Kamau heads to D.C. and its multicultural suburbs to hear the stories of immigrants and refugees, and sits down with Richard Spencer, leader of the white supremacist think tank the National Policy Institute.

Season 3 of UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA premiered on Sunday, April 29, 2018 at 10:15pm ET/PT on CNN, as W. Kamau Bell heads to the U.S.-Mexico border to find out what life is like for the people who live there. Later in the eight-episode third season, Bell visits the coast of South Carolina to meet the Gullah Geechee people, travels to Hawaii to talk to natives, heads up north to Canada, meets with students at Historical Black Colleges and Universities, explores Sikhism in America, talks to members of the disabled community, and visits his dad in Mobile, Alabama to retrace his family roots.

The fourth season of UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA premiered on Sunday, April 28, 2019 at 10pm ET/PT on CNN. In the season opener, "Megachurches," Bell heads to Dallas, the home of the megachurch, to learn about the business of megachurches and to discover what is creating the new face of Christianity today in a city where church and state are far from separate. In subsequent episodes he will explore the experiences of Hmong Americans, black Midwesterners, white activists in Seattle, women fighting for reproductive justice in Mississippi, the LGBTQ+ community in Salt Lake City, and residents of D.C. that represent a vibrant culture distinct from the politics surrounding them.
On Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 10pm ET/PT, CNN premiered "Toxic America," the Season 4 finale of UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA. Kamau visits Philadelphia and Chester, PA, to learn about the toxic man-made disasters that have polluted these communities for generations.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Objective Productions
  • Produced by Main Event Media