Fusion Slates Premiere for New Satirical Web Series and TV Special “The Democracy Handbook with Bassem Youssef”

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Web Series to Debut Thursday, July 14 on FUSION.net with One-Hour TV Special to Air Sunday, July 17 @ 9PM

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FUSION announced today the premiere dates for “The Democracy Handbook with Bassem Youssef.” The web series will focus on a single topic in each of its ten episodes and will be available to stream in its entirety beginning Thursday, July 14 at FUSION.net as well as on Facebook and YouTube. The one-hour “Democracy Handbook” television special, a compilation of the web series, will premiere Sunday, July 17 @ 9PM on FUSION’s cable network (channel listings).


Youssef, a former heart surgeon, grew to prominence by hosting a the satirical news program “Al-Bernameg” in Egypt, which captured the world’s attention during the 2011 Arab Spring. The success and influence created by that show garnered Youssef recognition that crosses borders and languages. He has been proclaimed the “Jon Stewart of Egypt,” named one of the "100 most influential people in the world" by TIME magazine, and profiled by “60 Minutes.” Youssef has amassed an enormous worldwide following that includes over 7 million followers on Twitter (@DrBassemYoussef).

“The fact that I come from the Middle East and was given the chance to comment on American political issues is an incredible opportunity and a great challenge. I hope to bring a different perspective to the table that is enlightening for Americans as well as people back in the Middle East,” says Youssef. “There is no doubt that America is a shining example of democracy, but nothing is perfect and nothing is complete. In certain aspects, I find areas where I hear the same rhetoric as in the Middle East; it is funny, some of the sound bites you hear here in America from a ‘certain’ candidate, would fit perfectly coming from a dictator in my region.”

“The Democracy Handbook” follows Youssef as he travels through America to learn the virtues of democracy and as his finds outs, our democracy isn’t quite as simple as he thought. Through interviews, sketches, and commentary, “The Democracy Handbook” will explore democratic themes over the course of ten episodes, some of which include:

  • Free Speech | After being exiled from Egypt, Bassem is excited to test our First Amendment right and equally eager to see how Americans choose to use it to their advantage.
  • Guns | Bassem explores our beloved Second Amendment and the culture surrounding it that fosters business promotions like, "Buy an engagement ring and get a gun for free!"
  • Rebranding Arabs | America is the land of reinvention, and Bassem's just getting used to the idea that he's got to rebrand himself, and his culture, if he's going to make it big here.
  • Church <3 State 4ever | The Founding Fathers were sure of one thing: church and state would never be together in the U.S. But Bassem knows these crazy kids are in love and have been sneaking out together behind the Constitution's back.
  • Elections | Bassem explores free & fair elections in the U.S. and quickly finds that we have a lot in common with Egypt, except we're spending more time and money for the same outcome.

“Bassem looks at America through a different lens. As an outsider, he’s able to come here and point out some of the more ridiculous flaws in our democratic system. Like the fact that we’re spending $5 billion on the 2016 presidential election, when you can buy an army and steal an election for much cheaper. He’s one of the most astute satirists in the world,” says Bryan Carmel, FUSION’s Head of Comedy and VP of Development.

Former “Daily Show” producer Kathy Egan serves as the executive producer of “The Democracy Handbook.”

Through impactful journalism and smart commentary, FUSION covers the stories that matter to the new, rising American mainstream. FUSION content is available to audiences across a broad range of platforms including cable television (channel listings) and FUSION.net as well as various OTT providers and social media platforms -- Facebook | Twitter| YouTube.

Media Contact:
David Ford / david(at)fusion(dot)net / 305-925-8882

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