NEW YORK – July 11, 2022 – IFC today released the first round of casting for the highly anticipated 53rd season of Documentary Now!, with celebrated actors Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine, Carol), Jamie Demetriou (The Afterparty, The Great), Trystan Gravelle (Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power, A Discovery of Witches), Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes, The Crown), John Rhys-Davies (The Lord of The Rings, Indiana Jones) and Harriet Walter (Succession, Killing Eve), as well as legendary music artist Tom Jones joining the critically acclaimed original comedy series. Known for lovingly playing homage to the world of documentaries, six all-new episodes of Documentary Now! Season 53 are set to air on IFC and AMC+ in the Fall of 2022.
Co-created by Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Seth Meyers and Rhys Thomas, and hosted by Dame Helen Mirren, the series is executive produced by Lorne Michaels and produced by Broadway Video. The star-studded cast toplines the three previously announced episodes from the upcoming season all written by co-creator Seth Meyers:
- “Two Hairdressers in Bagglyport” will star two-time Academy Award®-winner and Documentary Now! alumni Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine, Carol), as well as actress Harriet Walter (Succession, Killing Eve). Paying homage to fashion documentaries 3 Salons at the Seaside and The September Issue, the episode is a fly-on-the-wall portrait of a hair salon owner (Walter) and her staff (Blanchett), in the small coastal village of Bagglyport as they prepare their yearly stylebook. Documentary Now! co-creator Fred Armisen will also star as George the Postman.
- “How They Threw Rocks” will feature Welsh actors Trystan Gravelle (Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power, A Discovery of Witches), Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes, The Crown) and John Rhys-Davies (The Lord of The Rings, Indiana Jones), as well as legendary Welsh singer Tom Jones. In the vein of When We Were Kings and other great explorations of sport, the episode chronicles the Welsh sport of Craig Maes, also known as “Field Rock,” and the iconic 1974 bout dubbed “The Melon vs. The Felon (Gravelle).” Fellow Welsh actor Sam C. Wilson (Dodger) joins as infamous Craig Maes competitor Sior Strawboss or “The Melon.”
- “My Monkey Grifter” will be helmed by actor Jamie Demetriou (The Afterparty). Drawing inspiration from My Octopus Teacher, the episode follows Benjamin Clay (Demetriou), a filmmaker who forms a deep, emotional, and financially taxing relationship with a monkey who may have ulterior motives. Fred Armisen also joins as Detective Blakely.
Additional guest stars and documentaries will be announced at a later date.
The six-time Emmy®-nominated Documentary Now! debuted to rave reviews from critics and quickly became a fan favorite thanks to its insightful take on some of the most well-known documentary films. Each episode takes viewers back in time to honor groundbreaking documentaries. Season 52 guest stars included Cate Blanchett, Owen Wilson, Michael Keaton, Natasha Lyonne, John Mulaney, Michael C. Hall, Taran Killam, Richard Kind, and more.
Documentary Now! is executive produced by Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Seth Meyers, Rhys Thomas, Lorne Michaels, Alex Buono, John Mulaney and Broadway Video’s Andrew Singer. Once again, Thomas and Buono are the show’s directors with Erik Kenward serving as consulting producer. Alice Mathias and David Cress co-executive produce, with Matt Pacult, Tamsin Rawady, Eddie Michaels and Andrew Garland serving as producers. EMU Films produced in the UK, with Lee Groombridge serving as producer and Jim Mooney, Michael Elliott and Wali Ullah serving as executives.
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IFC is the home of offbeat, unexpected comedies. Acclaimed series Documentary Now! and Sherman’s Showcase air alongside fan-favorite movies and comedic cult TV shows. IFC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., and available across multiple platforms. IFC is Always On, Slightly Off.
AMC+ is the company’s new premium streaming bundle featuring an extensive lineup of popular and critically acclaimed original programming from AMC, BBC America, IFC, and SundanceTV and full access to targeted streaming services Shudder, Sundance Now and IFC Films Unlimited, which feature content such as A Discovery of Witches, Creepshow, and Boyhood. The service features a continually refreshed library of commercial-free content, including fan favorites Mad Men, Halt & Catch Fire, Turn: Washington’s Spies, Hell on Wheels, NOS4A2, Rectify, Orphan Black, Portlandia, and series from The Walking Dead Universe, among many others. The service also offers a growing slate of original and exclusive series including Gangs of London, Kin, The North Water, Ragdoll, The Beast Must Die, Too Close, The Salisbury Poisonings, Cold Courage, Spy City, Ultra City Smiths, Anna, Anne Boleyn, Firebite, La Fortuna and forthcoming That Dirty Black Bag. AMC+ recently launched in Canada and Australia, and is available in the U.S. through AMCPlus.com, the AMC+ app, and a number of digital and cable partners.