Photo courtesy of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
This week Season 4 of Our America with Lisa Ling premiered, and once again the show delved into a topic not many people feel comfortable discussing, but somehow made it approachable and nonjudgmental. Lisa tackled the topic of bondage in the season opener and will follow it up with shows about childhood obesity, families of killers, polyamorists and martyrs for Christ. Each week Our America explores the worlds we don't even know exist and opens our minds to the lives of those around us.
At a recent press event Lisa talked about the new season saying, "In our fourth batch of shows — the quality of our shows, the writing — we've all honed our skills even more so. And I'm so proud of what we're producing in this fourth batch."
She continued, "This is the proudest I've ever been of the work that I've done. I've been in this business for well over 20 years and this is the culmination of all the things that I've had the privilege and fortune of being able to do."
Ling said she gets the access to the people she covers because the reputation of the show proceeds her. She said, "We treat everyone we feature on our show with dignity and respect, irrespective of what they may have been accused of doing or what they're currently doing. I know that they appreciate it and they know that we're not going to exploit their stories."
She credits the style of the show with creating a place for viewers to come and learn. "Our show is the least loud and sensational show on TV. If you really think about it, our shows are slow moving and they're beautifully shot and they're very introspective… It's unlike any other show in that way because it breaths and allows you to get immersed in the lives of these people."
Lisa looks forward to doing more and more shows for the series because as she said, "There are no shortage of stories in this country."
And the driving force behind the show's continuous success is the passion. "Our teams consist of deeply passionate people. It drives me. It is my baby. It is the thing about which I am most passionate and everyone on our team feels the same way."
She added, "Everyone on my teams knows that opportunities like this come around never. Literally never. If this goes away we might not ever get another chance to do this kind of programming and not sound cliche but I really don't think we'd be able to do it anywhere but [OWN]. This network has gone through its ups and downs — and thank goodness it's on this amazing uptick right now — but regardless of the roller coaster that it's been on, it's been so supportive of the show and for that we will always be grateful.
Tune into Our America with Lisa Ling Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. Central on OWN.
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