On Sunday, September 23, CNN will air the Kenya-themed installment of Parts Unknown. The Season 12 premiere is the last episode that Anthony Bourdain completed before he died. In a new trailer for the episode, Bourdain’s companion on this journey, United Shades of America star W. Kamau Bell, reflects on what it was like to travel with the Kitchen Confidential author after being a fan of his work for so many years. “Everyone who had dreams of traveling with Tony, it’s exactly as cool as you think it is,” Bell says in the clip.
The trailer shows Bourdain and Bell eating in bustling restaurants, cruising around on a wildlife safari, and sitting atop a hill, musing on how lucky they are to do what they do. It’s clear that this episode means a lot to Bell, especially in light of Bourdain’s death. “I feel a tremendous responsibility to learn the lessons I learned with him, to depen the work that I’m doing, and to prove him right, that I was worthy to be on an episode of Parts Unknown,” the CNN host explains in the clip. The episode will have its world premiere at the Tribeca TV Festival on Saturday, at an event that will also feature a Q & A with Bell, producer Lydia Tenaglia, director Morgan Fallon, and executive producer Sandy Zweig.
Season 12 will also include episodes filmed in Spain, Manhattan, Indonesia, and West Texas, plus two series finale episodes covering Bourdain’s life and work. The author/TV host completed all the voiceover work on the Kenya episode, but the rest of Season 12 will feature a mix of audio from pre-recorded Bourdain segments, and follow-up interviews with other people in the Parts Unknown universe. According to Zweig, there was no question as to whether or not the Parts Unknown team would finish the episodes Bourdain filmed for Season 12. “It’s part of Tony’s legacy,” the Zero Point Zero producer recently told CNN. “Obviously, the perspective of watching them changes after Tony’s death but at the same time our goal was to try and execute them in the way that they were intended.”
The Kenya episode airs on CNN next Sunday, September 23 at 9 p.m. ET. Stay tuned for more details on the final season of Parts Unknown as they become available.
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