PBS ANNOUNCES “AMERICA REVEALED”
– New Four-Part Series Soars Through the Sky to Uncover What Makes America Work –
AMERICA REVEALED host Yul Kwon at La Tomatina en Reno, America’s biggest tomato fight
Credit: Jeff Ross
LOS ANGELES, CA; JANUARY 9, 2011 -- As anyone who’s ever flown in a commercial airplane knows, America looks very different from the skies. Plucked from their living rooms and transported above the clouds on an epic journey, viewers will discover a fascinating, new perspective on the hidden rhythms and patterns of American life in PBS’ AMERICA REVEALED. Using aerial footage, high-definition video and real-time satellite data, this new miniseries traces the movements and communications that miraculously come together to manufacture goods, transport people and materials, grow tons of food and power our increasingly tech-savvy nation. Produced by award-winning Lion Television, the series is slated to air Fall 2011 on PBS.
Technology expert and communications attorney Yul Kwon (winner of “Survivor: Cook Islands”) is the series’ adventurous guide. Over the course of four hours, Kwon jumps out of airplanes, climbs to the top of an energy tower in Montana, accompanies a Nebraska farmer on a crop harvest and rides with Las Vegas cabbies during the city’s annual cowboy convention. The result is a fresh and surprising view of how an incredibly vast and complex country like America actually works.
Based upon the BBC’s award-winning “Britain From Above,” AMERICA REVEALED shows viewers how a violent lightning storm can wreak havoc on a regional power grid, sending high-voltage surges across miles of transmission lines — even into a typical American living room — and threatening the stability of the whole grid. Archival footage and aerial images document the meteoric rise of urban centers, suburban neighborhoods and America’s interstate highway system. GPS information reveals the invisible “tracks” commercial aircraft leave as they streak across the sky, while data from the retail industry’s Radio Frequency Identification tags show how goods from a single container ship are quickly transported across the nation.
“America is a nation of intricate networks that keep the country running every minute, every hour of every day,” says Nick Catliff, executive producer and president, Lion Television. “And yet most of us probably know very little about what it really takes to deliver goods to our door, build the cars we drive, power our homes and mobile devices, and feed our families.”
Tony Tackaberry, executive producer and CEO, Lion Television, adds: “The aerial photography, along with a range of pioneering visual techniques the series will employ, will give viewers a glimpse of the nation as they’ve never seen it, while the previously untapped data will offer new insight into the forces that shape our everyday lives.”
AMERICA REVEALED is not only about the country’s physical infrastructure, however. The series also introduces the men and women whose work involves observing America from above: a crop duster who struggles to maintain pinpoint accuracy while dodging power lines and facing high winds; a power station supervisor who fights the danger of a multi-state blackout; an air traffic controller who directs planes in crowded skies; a bridge worker who braves dizzying heights to repair a failing suspension cable.
“AMERICA REVEALED will be a completely new experience for PBS viewers,” says John F. Wilson, PBS’s chief television programming executive. “This series employs an imaginative new form of storytelling, bringing visual imagery and information together to offer viewers an unprecedented way to fully explore and understand the country where we live and work.”
AMERICA REVEALED episodes include (all working titles):
• “The Great American Breadbasket”--How America keeps pace with its insatiable appetite; who decides what food is produced; and how pastures and prairies turned into the biggest food machine in the world.
• “The American Dynamo”--How America propels itself through energy, including the extraction of valuable ore and oil; the creation of electricity through water, wind and nuclear power; and the intricacies of energy distribution.
• “America in Motion”--How America moves, whether the transportation mode is a bicycle on a neighborhood sidewalk, a family car on the mammoth interstate highway system or air traffic moving above the clouds.
• “Made in America”--How American industry creates, whether it’s a simple cardboard box, a sleek new car, a jumbo jet or a tiny silicon chip, and how supply and demand, manufacturing and assembly are interconnected.
AMERICA REVEALED is a multiplatform series with extensive web, mobile and educational content. Before, during and after the broadcast, PBS viewers will be able to view and personalize extensive material from the series as well as contribute their own original content. For teachers and students, a wealth of research, graphics, videos and archives will be made available to align with the classroom curriculum.
AMERICA REVEALED is a production of Lion Television. The executive producers are Nick Catliff and Tony Tackaberry. The executive in charge of production is Ruth Johnston.
About Lion Television
With offices in London, New York and Glasgow, Lion Television is one of the most successful independent production companies in the U.S. and UK. They have produced programming for PBS, MTV, Fox, History, E!, Bravo/NBC, TLC, Discovery Channel, Discovery Health, Animal Planet, Style, History Channel, Planet Green, MSNBC, CBS, A&E, HBO, VH1, Court TV and National Geographic, among others.
Formed in 1997, Lion Television specializes in bringing their unique brand of documentary, investigative, entertainment and historical programming to broadcasters around the world. Past productions include the breakthrough factual series “Castaway,” the HD experiential series “Atlas” for the Discovery Channel U.S. and, most recently, “Britain From Above,” a landmark series that aired on BBC One, Two and Four. Past U.S. productions include “It Takes a Thief” for Discovery Channel, “S.W.A.T. USA” for Court TV and “Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?” for Style.
In 2010, Lion Television USA celebrated its third consecutive Emmy win in the Outstanding Game Show category for “Cash Cab” on Discovery Channel. “Cash Cab” is made locally in more than 40 countries and has aired more than 250 episodes in the U.S. and 2,500 episodes worldwide.
In the coming months, Lion Television USA looks forward to completing production of their new MTV series, “MegaDrive,” and beginning production on the 9th season of “History Detectives” for PBS. They’re also continuing to help people reduce their carbon footprint on the 3rd season of their eco-makeover show “Wa$ted,” currently airing on Planet Green.
Lion Television (www.liontv.com) is an All3Media Company.
PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans — from every walk of life — the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches 117 million people through television and 20 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet.
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