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Livelyhood is a public television series about work life and it's relationship to our families, communities and the larger questions the country faces as the economy shifts at light speed.

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The Livelyhood Journey

We find common ground in everyday life and nothing is more common to the average American than going to work. We pound the alarm clock, grab a cup of joe, hit the road and try to make it through the day as best we can. But the true experience of work and its impact on our lives is rarely explored on TV. Covering this uncharted ground is Livelyhood, a public television series about our work life and its relationship to our families, communities and the larger questions the country faces as the economy shifts at lightning speed.

Livelyhood is for everyone who works, across all strata of American society, ranging from factory and office workers to investment bankers and executives. More than that, Livelyhood is designed to start a conversation about the changing nature of work and its central place in our lives and is accompanied by a national outreach campaign involving civic, business, media, labor and educational organizations.

In each Livelyhood one-hour special, host and humorist Will Durst takes viewers on a cross-country journey into the everyday lives of working Americans. In "Shift Change," the series opener, which broadcast in November 1997, Livelyhood looked at how working Americans adapt to downsizing, the global economy, temporary jobs and new technology. The second program in the series, "Working Family Values," which aired in April 1998, showcased creative ways in which Americans are balancing professional and family obligations. The third program, "Honey, We Bought the Company," which aired in September 1998, described how ordinary people are taking business into their own hands and changing the way we all work. The fourth program, "Our Towns", aired on PBS stations January 26, 1999, featuring hardworking Americans dedicated to building and maintaining healthy communities -- citizens banding together to solve economic problems and deal with changes to their towns and cities.

The second season of Livelyhood started off with "Chipping Off the Old Block," a Labor Day special about the good ole’ American work ethic. In "Carpool to Nirvana," October 15, 1999, Durst set out on a quest for the ideal workplace. He asked, "What does the workplace of the future look like and how can we get there today?" That trip to nirvana was followed up with "Night Shift," a behind-the-scenes look to find out what is happening as more and more Americans work non-traditional hours. Durst stayed up all night peering into the increasingly 24-7 work world we inhabit.

The Workday That Wouldn't Die - Remember when flextime was a novel idea and the three-martini lunch was considered corporate cool? Nowadays, working 9 to 5 is as quaint a concept as "all work and no play." The rules for the average workday are being rewritten. While many Americans are toiling longer hours than they have in half a century, others are reinventing the workday. From factory workers who determine their own productivity schedules to dot-com entrepreneurs who believe that work is a recreational sport, the lines have blurred as we try to define a typical American workday.

Livelyhood begins a third series on PBS with Planet Work: Finding Solutions in the World Wide Work World. Two one- hour specials that explore how globalization of the world economy is transforming the way we work. With a "glass is half full" approach, Livelyhood goes on a global search for solutions to the growing problems of a smaller world. On the way wešll meet people and businesses pioneering new models, where corporate, employee and community interests merge.

For information about ordering your own copy of Livelyhood, email info@livelyhoodtv.org or call 510-268-WORK.

Livelyhood is produced by The Working Group, a nonprofit media company based in Oakland, CA, and is made possible by the UAW-DaimlerChrysler National Training Center, United Airlines and the Kellogg Foundation. The show is a presentation of KQED TV, the most-watched public television station in the nation.

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