November 12, 2020

Executive Producers Leonardo DiCaprio and Stephen David Team for CuriosityStream’s Powerful Original Biography Series ‘Beyond the Spotlight’

Kristen Bell, Shaquille O’Neal, Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson Jackson, and YouTube’s MrBeast Among Stars Sharing Emotional Stories and Personal Passions, First Episodes Premiere November 19


SILVER SPRING, Md. – November 12, 2020 – CuriosityStream, the world’s leading factual entertainment streaming service, today announced the November 19th world premiere of the original new series Beyond the Spotlight. From Executive Producer Leonardo DiCaprio and Appian Way Productions, the award-winning Stephen David Entertainment, a Banijay Group Company, and CuriosityStream, the series goes Beyond the Spotlight to explore the deep-rooted passions of people at the height of fame who are on a personal mission to change the world. Beyond the Spotlight is a new, sterling example of CuriosityStream’s broad, global, fact-based content offering.


From the highest grossing actor of all time, Samuel L. Jackson, alongside his Tony Award-nominated wife LaTanya Richarsdon Jackson to the beloved and relatable Kristen Bell… and from sports icons Shaquille O’Neal and Joe Namath to the wildly popular influencer MrBeast — these are the intriguing people who capture our attention, fill our social feeds, and shape pop culture. Each of the six hour-long episodes takes an intimate tone, featuring the deeply profound conversations that happen out of the spotlight when people share, in their own words, what truly inspires them.


Beyond the Spotlight was filmed in the middle of the pandemic, with the utmost of precaution, at a time when many scripted content creators had to pause their production processes,” said Rob Burk, Head of Original Content for CuriosityStream. “We are very proud to premiere these fresh and incredibly revealing stories of people we thought we knew, told in their own words during a time of great personal reflection. We know our viewers will connect deeply with these biographies, and we’re thrilled to partner with Appian Way Productions and Stephen David Entertainment to bring impactful stories of the human experience to CuriosityStream.”


Appian Way Productions, the film and television production company founded by Leonardo DiCaprio and co-run by Jennifer Davisson, is known for its diverse slate including Academy Award-winning feature films The Revenant and The Wolf of Wall Street and ground-breaking documentaries Including Virunga, And We Go Green, and Sea of Shadows.

Especially during these trying times, it’s been an incredible opportunity to shed light on these amazing causes and to gain a different perspective on the celebrities we all know and love,” said Stephen David, Executive Producer for Stephen David Entertainment.


Episode 1: Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal went from being poor and bullied – and becoming a bully himself – to success and fame in the NBA, music, film and business. He credits the Boys & Girls Club with turning his life around and has spent the past thirty years giving back to America’s kids. But the greatest influence on Shaq’s life was his step-father, who taught him always to share his blessings and that “true pressure is not knowing where your next meal is coming from.”


Episode 2: Kristen Bell

At age 19, on a missionary trip in Brazil, Kristen Bell helped to deliver two babies. The experience ignited her nurturing nature, which endures today in the organization she holds close to her heart, No Kid Hungry. Bell and her husband Dax Shepard have a deal: he can buy as many fancy cars as he wants and she gets to give away a third of their income to good works.


Episode 3: Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson his wife LaTanya Richardson Jackson met as college students and activists in Atlanta during the Civil Rights Era. At the age of 20, Samuel served as an usher at Martin Luther King, Jr’s funeral. He and LaTanya have fought together to end apartheid in South Africa, enlisted Hollywood to support the National Museum of African American History and Culture and raised millions for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. But their greatest satisfactions are simple, like hand written thank you notes from young children they’ve gifted books.


Beyond the Spotlight episodes four through six will premiere exclusively on CuriosityStream in early 2021, featuring sports legend Joe Namath, MrBeast, wo is the intriguing influencer taking YouTube and TikTok by storm, and more.


Beyond the Spotlight is from Executive Producer Leonardo DiCaprio and Appian Way Productions. Jennifer Davisson and Phillip Watson from Appian Way are also executive producers. Stephen David, Tim W. Kelly and Ari Hyman are executive producers for Stephen David Entertainment. Noah Morowitz is executive producer for CuriosityStream and Rob Burk is CuriosityStream’s Head of Original Content.

About CuriosityStream

Launched by media visionary John Hendricks, CuriosityStream is the world’s leading factual steaming service and media company. Our documentary series and features cover every topic from space exploration to adventure to the secret life of pets, empowering viewers of all ages to fuel their passions and explore new ones. With thousands of titles, many in Ultra HD 4K, including exclusive originals, CuriosityStream features stunning visuals and unrivaled storytelling to demystify science, nature, history, technology, society, and lifestyle. CuriosityStream programming is available worldwide to watch on TV, desktop, mobile and tablets. Find us on Roku, Apple TV Channels and Apple TV, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, iOS and Android, as well as Amazon Prime Video Channels, YouTube TV, Sling TV, DISH, Comcast Xfinity on Demand, Cox Communications, Altice USA, Suddenlink, T- Mobile, Frndly TV, Vidgo, Sony, LG, Samsung and VIZIO smart TVs, Liberty Global, Com Hem, MultiChoice, StarHub TV, Totalplay, Millicom, Okko, Gazprom and other global distribution partners and platforms. For more information, visit


About Appian Way Productions

Appian Way Productions is a Los Angeles-based film and television production company founded by Leonardo DiCaprio. Jennifer Davisson serves as president of production. Since its launch, Appian Way has released a diverse slate of films, including Alejandro Iñárritu’s three-time Academy Award® and Golden Globe® winner The Revenant, Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award®- and Golden Globe®- nominated The Wolf of Wall Street and Academy Award®-nominated and Golden Globe®-winning The Aviator, along with Shutter Island, Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace, George Clooney’s Golden Globe®-nominated The Ides of March, the psychological thriller Orphan and the film adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s critically-acclaimed novel Live by Night with Ben Affleck, among others. Currently have The Right Stuff based on the acclaimed Tom Wolfe book for National Geographic streaming on Disney+.


The company has put forth strong efforts to gain headway in the documentary world, especially as it pertains to progressive environmental change. Appian Way recently worked in partnership with the History Channel on Frontiersman, and National Geographic to produce Before the Flood, a documentary film that sheds light on that aforementioned change. It also worked with Netflix on the Academy Award®-nominated Virunga, directed by Orlando von Einsiedel, and Kip Anderson’s Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret. Appian is in partnership with Netflix on several additional documentaries, including critically acclaimed The Ivory Game, How to Change the World and Catching the Sun.


About Stephen David Entertainment

Stephen David Entertainment (SDE) – a Banijay Group company – is an Emmy® Award-winning, New York-based production company and studio. Since its inception, SDE has established itself as an industry leader in both non-fiction and scripted entertainment. In 2012, SDE ushered in a new TV genre, the “hybrid” docu-series, with THE MEN WHO BUILT AMERICA (History), which went on to win two Primetime Emmy® Awards with five total nominations. SDE repeated their success with THE WORLD WARS (History). The historical event mini-series received three Primetime Emmy® Award nominations, and featured President Barack Obama. Other SDE series include: THE MAKING OF THE MOB (AMC), THE AMERICAN WEST (AMC), ROMAN EMPIRE (Netflix), SUGARTOWN for ID Films, and JONESTOWN: TERROR IN THE JUNGLE.

Copy Text

Press Releases