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Nicole Wallace Set to Expand Beyond MSNBC Politics with Streaming Series

Every weekday on MSNBC, Nicole Wallace focuses on the biggest problems in politics. But on Peacock, she’s about to get a little personal. 

The former White House Communications Director and host of MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House” is launching the first entry in “Deadline: Special Report,” a series of deep dives into issues she might not typically cover during her late-afternoon cable shift. This is a four-part miniseries that is now available on the NBCUniversal streaming hub. Wallace interviews many celebrities, including actors Taraji P. Henson and Rosie Perez, as well as Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn, about mental health and how to make it more a part of the national conversation. This series is executive produced by Patrick Burkey and will allow viewers to see Wallace interview a doctor who has pioneered a novel approach to mental health care inside and outside the classroom. 

Struggles with mental health, anxiety, and feelings of being isolated are “so universal,” and they became more so as the nation grappled with the pandemic. “I don’t know anyone who isn’t touched by a challenge or hasn’t struggled,” Wallace tells Variety.

Wallace says that the interviews get “deeply personal,” with Henson acknowledging having suicidal thoughts during the pandemic and Vonn discussing her mother, who had recently passed away. The conversations were held in person at NBC’s Studio 6A, a facility that has been used for everything from live broadcasts featuring Chris Hayes to Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager’s “Today” hour to Megyn Kelly’s stab at morning TV. 

Wallace says that more conversations are on the way. “The idea is to do multiple series and deep dives into single topics without overlapping too much with what we do on the broadcast.”

Wallace is helping MSNBC by expanding her aperture. Every national TV news outlet is trying to develop content for streaming audiences, but cable networks face some challenges. While popular anchors are most likely to persuade audiences to check out streaming venues, offering programs that are too much like what is being offered on cable would anger distributors who count on exclusive content to keep their subscribers from cutting the cord.

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