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Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan is a renowned writer, commentator, professor, Emmy-nominated producer, and scholar of religions. A recipient of the prestigious James Joyce award, Aslan is the author of three internationally best-selling books, including the #1 New York Times Bestseller, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. His producing credits include the acclaimed HBO series The Leftovers and the upcoming Chuck Lorre comedy, United States of Al. He is the host and Executive Producer of Rough Draft with Reza Aslan.

Series
Filmed live at the historic Mack Sennett Studios in Silver Lake, California, Rough Draft with Reza Aslan is a timely and fast-paced talk show about writers and their lives, craft and inspiration. Some of today’s most important voices from screen, television, music, and books sit with Reza for a lively discussion that’s intimate, provocative and always entertaining. Season 1 features Melissa Rosenberg, Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, Vic Mensa with guest Johan Lenox, Gloria Calderón Kellett & Tanya Saracho, Viet Tranh Nguyen with musical guest Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, Steven Canals with musical guest Trans Chorus of LA, Ramy Youssef with musical El Ten Eleven, and Robin Coste Lewis.
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Video
Religions scholar Reza Aslan journeys to the holy city of Varanasi, India's famed "City of the Dead,” where the Ganges River is lit by the funeral pyres of dozens of crematoriums. He enters the world of the Aghori, a sect of Hindus who reject traditional Karmic notions of purity and pollution. Reza lets an Aghori guru put him through extreme rituals, visits a modern day leper colony, and attempts to purify himself in the notoriously polluted Ganges.
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A battle is raging for the souls of the people of Haiti and Vodou is at the heart of the conflict. Evangelical missionaries in Haiti claim the country is in the grip of Satan. They believe that all of the country’s social, political and economic problems are the result of a blood pact made with the devil over 200 years ago. Vodou practitioners are seeing the faith that helped liberate their ancestors from the shackles of slavery now threatened by outsiders.
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Reza Aslan dives into Scientology, perhaps America's most maligned and misunderstood new religion, to experience for himself what Scientologists actually believe. In his journey to immerse himself in the secretive rituals of this mysterious faith, Reza undergoes an auditing session, something rarely seen by outsiders. He encounters a growing community of independent Scientologists who have left the Church but still faithfully practice the religion as defined by its founder L. Ron Hubbard.
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Is it a death cult for murderers and narco-trafficers? Is it Satan worship? As a relatively new and obscure religion, critics have called Santa Muerte many things. But it is the fastest growing religion in the Americas, with five million followers and counting. Santa Muerte speaks profoundly to those whose lives have been touched by violence and chaos. It has special appeal to those marginalized by the Catholic Church, including transsexuals, prostitutes, and drug traffickers.
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Reza Aslan travels to the big island of Hawaii to enter a doomsday cult that is preparing for an impending apocalypse. There, he finds an off-the-grid community run by a fiery and charismatic self-declared prophet who calls himself JeZus. Convinced that a massive flood is about to destroy humanity, Jezus and his followers are building an Ark to save themselves and repopulate the world.
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Writer/director/actor/producer Mike White, whose credits include Enlightened, School of Rock, and Freaks and Geeks, describes working with networks and studios and the complex “art & commerce” dynamic. With musical guests The Bird and the Bee.
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Damon Lindelof, whose credits include Lost and The Leftovers, talks with Reza about his first big breaks, and how it feels to have the zeitgeist question his season finale of Lost. Composer Antonio Sanchez and musician Daniel Lanois also join.
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Writers and producers Tim Kring and Gideon Raff, whose claims to fame include Heroes and Homeland, recount writers’ room trenches and a violent encounter with Woody Allen in Central Park. With musical guest Alison Sudol.
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Reza’s featured guest is Jill Soloway, Emmy-nominated writer and Emmy-winning director of Transparent, along with musical guests The Local Natives. Several actors from Transparent and Jill’s own family also join in on the green room conversation.
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Norman Lear, creator of All In the Family, The Jeffersons, and Maude—and perhaps the most iconic of television writers alive today—describes arriving in Hollywood, his social activism, and his take on the current state of the creative nation.
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Series
Rough Draft With Reza Aslan is a timely and fast-paced talk show about writers and writing. Today’s biggest scribes (screen, television, books and press) sit with Reza for a lively discussion that’s intimate, provocative, and always entertaining.
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Series
Renowned author and religious scholar Reza Aslan immerses himself in the world's most fascinating faith-based groups to experience life as a true believer.
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