via press release:
SCIENCE CHANNEL’S IDIOT ABROAD, KARL PILKINGTON, PONDERS LIFE’S BIG QUESTIONS IN THE ALL-NEW SERIES
THE MOANING OF LIFE
—THE MOANING OF LIFE Premieres Saturday, January 18 at 10 PM ET/PT on Science Channel–
(Silver Spring, Md.) – For the past three years, more than 66 million have watched as Karl Pilkington set out on ambitious expeditions organized by his pals Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant on Science Channel’s AN IDIOT ABROAD. The network’s most successful series concluded this past February, but Karl is embarking on an entirely new, solo life adventure on Science Channel in the all-new series THE MOANING OF LIFE. Two all-new episodes premiere back-to-back on Saturday, January 18 at 10 PM and 11 PM ET/PT only on Science Channel.
Now that Karl is 40 he’s officially “middle-aged” and ready to reassess his life and look at things a little differently. In THE MOANING OF LIFE viewers will see a now very well-traveled Karl experience how other cultures face up to some of life’s biggest issues while he simultaneously plans for his own future. As Karl attempts to put his life in order, he’ll be dispatched around the world on a crash course to find out how other cultures deal with children, happiness, marriage, career and death.
“At this point Karl has become a beloved part of the Science Channel family,” said Debbie Myers, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Science Channel. “He’s a fan favorite and we think audiences will enjoy his take on life’s big questions. It’s a provocative and humorous journey of self-discovery.”
“I’ve been on the planet for 40 years now, and I’m still none the wiser as to what it’s all about really,” Karl said. “I’ve never worried about life’s big questions. People at my age sit about pondering about ‘why are we here?’ The only time I ever asked meself that is when Suzanne booked us a surprise holiday.”
THE MOANING OF LIFE Episode Descriptions (all times are ET/PT):
Premieres Saturday, January 18 at 10 PM
Karl hasn’t given much thought to happiness and isn’t sure it’s something you should pursue. However, Karl wants to see how other people achieve happiness, and is travelling to Mexico to meet a tribe that gets happiness from running ultra-marathons and a group in Guadalajara who get pleasure from pain. In Los Angeles Karl finds his first dose of happiness comes when he meets a group of “hip hop clowns” and dances through the streets of Compton. From there Karl experiences a day of beauty with a plastic surgery addict, as well as a day of anger before having a go at giving up all possessions to see if the simple life is the answer to happiness.
Premieres Saturday, January 18 at 11 PM
At the age of 40 Karl doesn’t have kids and has never felt the need to start a family. But all his friends are having them and think he should too. Karl sets off on a worldwide journey in an attempt to understand why people have kids. It begins in Japan where Karl attends a traditional fertility festival centered around a parade of giant phalluses before he finds out whether he’s even capable of having kids by getting his sperm tested. Karl continues his journey in Bali where he helps out at a natural birthing center, babysitting a new born child and lending a hand to the midwives as they deliver a baby. In the Indonesian Island of Sulawesi, Karl joins of group of sea gypsy kids on a fishing trip and discovers a more relaxed approach to parenting. Karl’s journey ends in Los Angeles where he puts his learnings into practice and comes up with an unusual parenting test for a young couple thinking of starting a family.
Premieres Saturday, January 25 at 10 PM
Karl’s been with Suzanne 20 years but has never seen the need to get married. But now he’s travelling around the world to see how other cultures do it and to see if he’s in the wrong. Karl starts his journey in Delhi, India where he gets a taste of an arranged marriage by going on a date with a prospective wife and her parents. Then he goes on patrol with one of India’s growing band of “wedding detectives” hired to spy on potential husbands and wives. In Bangalore Karl attends a big Indian wedding and is enlisted to help a couple of elite wedding planners get the groom ready for the ceremony, deal with catering and look after thousands of guests at the reception. Karl’s journey continues in Los Angeles where he explores using science to meet an ideal partner before driving to Las Vegas where he searches out an alternative to the huge wedding he experienced in India. His trip concludes with a unique wedding ceremony that he’s invented using the information he’s learned along the way.
Premieres Saturday, February 1 at 10 PM
Karl has gone from job to job without any grand plan. He certainly never felt he had a vocation. Karl starts by meeting an 85 year old inventor in Japan who attempts to teach Karl how to be a genius. Failing that Karl tries his hand as a traditional Japanese odd-job man. To get a taste of the high life Karl travels to South Africa to meet a flamboyant self-made millionaire who enjoys his money by driving sports cars, flying helicopters and eating sushi off naked women. In Los Angeles, the land of opportunity, Karl sees whether you really can do anything you want by trying his hand as Catwalk model in a Hollywood Fashion Show.
Premieres Saturday, February 8 at 10 PM
Karl has never been to a funeral or thought much about death in his life. But now he’s embarking on a journey around the world to see how other cultures deal with death to help him prepare for his own funeral. Karl’s trip begins in Ghana where he seeks out alternatives to the depressing funerals on offer back home. He goes shopping for a Ghanaian “crazy coffin” (a customized coffin designed in the shape of anything from a hammer to a bottle of beer) before attending his first ever funeral, helping the undertaker display the embalmed body for relatives, before joining a carnival atmosphere of the funeral parade the next day. Karl continues his journey in Taiwan where he’s taught how to cry and deal with grief by a professional mourner before heading to the Philippines where he discovers a community of people that live and work with the dead, and an unusual alternative to burial on the side of a cliff. The journey concludes back in Britain where he organizes an unusual memorial for the woman whose funeral he attended at the start of his trip.
THE MOANING OF LIFE is produced by Me & You Productions and RoundEd Productions. Richard Yee and Krishnendu Majumdar are executive producers for Me & You Prodcutions. For Science Channel, Deborah Adler Myers is general manager and executive vice president of the network. Brian Lavin and Kaitlin McIntyre are producers for Science Channel. Bernadette McDaid is vice president of production.