For a man who lived for the moment, Anthony Bourdain left an enduring legacy unlikely to be matched by even most seasoned world travelers. He took us along on every moment of it thanks to the CNN series Parts Unknown, where he talked cultural change, revolution and history with everyone from grandmothers to wanted political dissidents. But there is one more chapter to the series, and you’re probably wondering about the Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown final season.
Everything we know about Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown final season
In a mournful story by the Los Angeles Times from inside the halls of CNN, network executive Amy Entelis who launched Parts Unknown revealed that the Parts Unknown final season will be very different from the rest of the series.
The 12th and last season of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown will have just seven episodes instead of the usual eight, and will air sometime this fall. The real problem is Bourdain wasn’t just the host but also wrote the series’ signature voiceovers, so production was only completed for one of the episodes. That will be a journey through Kenya with political comedian W. Kamau Bell.
Four other episodes will be finished by their directors and use interviews and other audio recorded where each episode was filmed: Spain’s Asturias region, Indonesia, the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, and the Texas-Mexico border region Big Bend.
“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.”
The show sometimes had an extra episode at the start of the season, a retrospective of the previous season and what was to come. For the Parts Unknown final season, the second-to-last episode will be a tribute to Anthony Bourdain with interviews of the cast and crew about working with him, as well as behind-the-scenes footage and outtakes.
How to watch Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
You can stream the first eight seasons of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown on Netflix, Vudu and Amazon Video (note that the series is not part of the Amazon Prime streaming service). The series has not been released on DVD.
You can purchase the series through the iTunes Store, where all previous seasons are available for $14.99 and the most recent 11th season for $19.99.
If you love Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, check out chef Marcus Samuelsson’s new PBS series No Passport Required.
See Parts Unknown first at the Food Film Festival
Before the Parts Unknown final season airs, New Yorkers will get the first look at the series’ Lower East Side episode, which Bourdain filmed just a few months before his death. It’s an exploration of the neighborhood’s bohemian past especially during the 1970s and ‘80s, with Bourdain sitting down with the giants of New York City’s arts and music scene including American punk pioneer Richard Hell, Debbie Harry of Blondie, hip-hop trailblazer Fab 5 Freddy and director Jim Jarmusch. The episode will open the 12th annual Food Film Festival on Oct. 24, where attendees eat what they see onscreen.
For those looking to pay tribute in person, a new Anthony Bourdain mural by street artist Bradley Theodore of the chef surrounded by a rainbow of hearts sprang up on the Lower East Side in late July.