One of the many questions raised by the death by suicide of food truck-loving, beer-swilling evangelist of the good life Anthony Bourdain was this: What would happen to all the footage from the new season of Parts Unknown that Bourdain was filming when he died? The show’s parent network, CNN, has spent the last two months trying to figure that out, and today in an interview with The Los Angeles Times CNN’s Amy Entelis says a truncated, seven-episode season of Parts Unknown will air this fall.
Only one of those episodes—in which Bourdain is accompanied by comedian W. Kamau Bell on a trip to Kenya—has been finished, and will air with Bourdain’s signature narration (which he always wrote himself). Four more episodes, shot in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the Big Bend area of Texas, the Asturias region of Spain, and Indonesia, will be completed by the directors that filmed them, using audio recorded on location and follow-up interviews to tie them together. “Each one will feel slightly different depending on what’s gathered in the field,” Entelis said. “They will have the full presence of Tony because you’ll see him, you’ll hear him, you’ll watch him. That layer of his narration will be missing, but it will be replaced by other voices of people who are in the episodes.”
Finally, a penultimate episode will feature cast and crew talking about their experience working on the show accompanied by outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage, followed by a no-doubt emotional one-hour tribute to, as Entelis puts it, “how Tony affected the world.” Footage exists from destinations beyond those featured in this final batch of episodes, but Entelis says she and the network have chosen not to use it. “We don’t want to start putting things together that weren’t meant to be,” she says.