This story first appeared in the Sept. 6 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
E! is getting into the investigative journalism business -- well, sort of.
The cable network has ordered six episodes of The Soup Investigates (premiering Oct. 2), a spinoff of the long-running reality-TV-clip show The Soup, on the strength of its debut as a June standalone special that has reached more than 3.4 million viewers across all airings.
A parody of TV newsmagazines, the show -- the brainchild of Soup executive producer K.P. Anderson (Gersh, Stone Meyer) -- features tongue-in-cheek segments on such topics as Game of Thrones superfans, how The Bachelor buys its roses and the reaction of tween fans to what Justin Bieber will look like in the future (using age-progression technology).
"The way that John Oliver on The Daily Show goes out and does those correspondent pieces, we thought, 'We can do that but with pop culture,' " explains anchor Joel McHale, days ahead of the Aug. 21 live 500th episode of the flagship series he has hosted since 2004. ("It takes most talk show hosts less than two years to get there, but it took us 10," he says.)
As for what upcoming "pop culture mysteries, celebrity rumors and shocking questions" the new series hopes to tackle in its first season, the Community star is staying mum: "I can tell you that you'll probably not learn that much."
- Arts & Entertainment