Why Stanley Tucci’s ‘Searching for Italy’ Was “Right Show” to Bring Travel-Food Genre Back to CNN

When Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown debuted on CNN eight years ago, it was a gamble by the news giant. Coming off a presidential election, CNN was betting its viewers would want an escape from the news cycle, and Bourdain would be the one to deliver it.

The gamble paid off. Parts Unknown became the biggest hit in the CNN original series arsenal until Bourdain’s death in 2018. The channel stayed away from the food/travel genre since then.

Now, CNN is betting once again its viewers will want a reprieve, and actor Stanley Tucci — joined by wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano, a famed pizzaiolo, and a DJ named “Don Pasta” — is the key to viewers’ hearts, or bellies.

Stanley Tucci: Searching For Italy premiered on CNN on February 14, seeing the actor travel to a different Italian region in each of the season’s six episodes, exploring the food culture along the way. It also marks CNN’s return to the genre, after two years exploring other concepts.

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