HBO Max Orders Asian American Cuisine Docuseries ‘Take Out’ With Journalist Lisa Ling

Mónica Marie Zorrilla
·2 min read

HBO Max is going behind the counter of some of America’s more than 45,000 Asian restaurants.

The streaming platform is ordering “Take Out,” a six-part docuseries that chronicles the cultural contributions and unique lives of the people and families behind America’s Asian food joints from award-winning journalist Lisa Ling. The CNN host will be executive producing the timely docuseries with film producer David Shadrack Smith (“Taste the Nation With Padma Lakshmi”) and Part2Pictures. Smith and Ling previously collaborated on the OWN docuseries “Our America.”

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“With ‘Take Out,’ we will pay tribute to the hard work and countless contributions of Asian Americans whose restaurants helped shape the cultural tapestry and cuisines of America,” Sarah Aubrey, head of original content at HBO Max, said in a statement. “Lisa is one of a few storytellers who could paint the trials and triumphs of a community as told through the lens of a restaurant.”

“This has been a long-standing passion project that feels as relevant as ever,” Smith added. “It’s a chance to join Lisa on an especially personal exploration — and build on our long relationship together delving deep into the dynamics of America through the people that make it diverse and complex.”

Per the logline, viewers will be taken into the unique and compelling lives of those who run Asian restaurants, which are as ubiquitous as McDonald’s in the United States and represent the diverse people and cuisines of the country. Throughout the series, Ling explores the complicated stories and journeys of the Asian community, past and present, around the country while celebrating the joy that a little white takeout box can bring.

“It is time that we learn about a community that has been integral to America’s development but has largely been ignored by American history,” Ling said. “My own family’s path to their American dream started in a Chinese restaurant, and I cannot wait to learn the stories of those whose journey paralleled mine throughout different parts of this country.”

Part2Pictures is currently producing the eighth season of “This Is Life” with Ling.

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