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By Meredith Blake, Los Angeles Times (TNS)

Super-producers Norman Lear and Shonda Rhimes will team with celebrities including Amy Poehler and Common for a documentary series on Epix exploring inequality, the network announced Tuesday.

The series, America Divided, will feature celebrity correspondents including Lear, Common, Poehler, Zach Galifianakis and America Ferrera investigating aspects of social, economic and political division. The series will premiere on the premium cable network in fall 2016.

“We thought this was an amazing opportunity to help raise the level of the dialogue and focus the conversation on the inequities that exist in our country,” Epix Chief Executive Mark S. Greenberg told The Times.

“It’s all of deep concern and paramount interest,” added Lear, the producer behind such socially conscious, provocative sitcoms as All in the Family, Good Times and Maude. “The whole subject is a great part of my life.”

Lear and Common will executive produce with Rhimes. The series was created by Lucian Read, Solly Granatstein and Richard Rowley, who previously collaborated on Showtime’s climate change documentary series Years of Living Dangerously.

The series will air in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, but Lear, long associated with liberal politics, insists it is not advancing any particular agenda.

“I never think of myself as coming at it from any place but love of America,” he told The Times. “I’m not there to doubt anybody’s patriotism and I don’t think I have to wear a button to prove I’m an American and I care. This kind of involvement says much more than that button.”

The series will be made available at a later date on Hulu, Amazon and Sony Vue, widening its reach beyond the Epix subscriber base, Greenberg said.

©2016 Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Photo: Norman Lear at Vicki Abelson’s Women Who Write. Louise Palanker via Flickr

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)