What kind of training/preparation went into the project?
An article about the training by one of the series advisors appears in this site's Behind the Scenes section.
What will be the next "House" series? Are you taking suggestions?
There are many interesting periods in American history that would be wonderful to explore with another House series. At the moment we're getting ready for the Colonial House broadcast in May, and also beginning to think of what the next House project will be. Suggestions are always welcome and can be emailed to Colonial House.
How do I apply to be on the next "House" series? How can I be notified about applying?
To find out about the next House series, visit pbs.org in late 2004 and early 2005. We'll provide details on how to apply when we are ready to begin casting for another House series, probably in early 2005. Also, you can keep visiting this COLONIAL HOUSE site, where we'll post application information when it's available.
How did you select the applicants?
We received more than 5,000 applications from individuals and families, representing some 10,000 people. Our most important goal was finding people who were genuinely interested in the history and were willing to commit themselves to the project. We weren't looking for people who just wanted to be on television or just thought the project would be a lark. All the people who participated had very different reasons for doing so, which was great because when you look at the history of colonial America, you find that all the colonists had very different reasons for making such an uncertain and risky life change. In 1628, the people who invested in the colonies, some of who came themselves, were called "adventurers," and we think all of our modern participants are also adventurers. They're willing to take risks but they all have different reasons for wanting to take that risk. There were other obvious considerations -- applicants had to be healthy and had to be able to take up to five months out of their lives for the project. Finally, although we did our best to read through all the applications and then whittle down the numbers, it's not an exact science and no doubt there were plenty of suitable applicants who weren't chosen.
What teaching materials do you have? How can I use the show in my classroom? Are there free taping rights for teachers?
We have created a number of lesson plans and educational activities in the For Teachers section of this site. These materials can be used in connection with, or separate from, the television programs. Free off-air taping rights for teachers apply for 12 months from each broadcast.
I'm having trouble viewing the panoramic views. What can I do?
The panoramic views utilize QuickTime, which can be downloaded for free at www.apple.com/quicktime/download/. Though created by Apple, QuickTime works on the PC (Windows and Linux) as well as on the Macintosh.
Will there be a companion book, VHS, or DVD?
There is no companion book to this series. But the entire series will be available on DVD and VHS. Both the DVD and VHS are available via ShopPBS.
Will this be aired anywhere outside the United States? If so, when?
The series is to be broadcast on Channel 4 in Great Britain, probably in the summer or fall of 2004. It is possible, though not yet certain, that the series will be broadcast elsewhere.
Where was the series filmed? Why?
The series was filmed in Machias, Maine, mainly because that's where the producers found a fairly isolated coastal area. We chose that 1,000-acre area because it was remote enough to allow us to isolate a group from the modern world for a long period of time. Maine is a somewhat historically accurate choice, although at that time most of the settlements there would have been small fishing or trading communities. But there were definitely Europeans, including English, there in the 17th century. Historically, there were no European settlements that we know of on the actual land we chose, but it is the type of location the colonists were looking for up and down the coast -- an area with a protected bay, access to deep water for ships, and a richness and variety of resources, such as animals to hunt, berries to pick and clams to dig.
I saw a preview that showed Oprah Winfrey on the Colony. Is she in the series?
Oprah Winfrey and her crew visited the Colony to film a segment for THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW. While she was there, she participated in an interview that was featured in a PBS promotional clip. Ms. Winfrey does not appear in the 8-part COLONIAL HOUSE series.
How many "House" shows have you made? Will they be broadcast again? Are there companion books, tapes, or DVDs?
Thirteen/WNET New York has produced one other House series -- FRONTIER HOUSE -- with its co-producer, Wall to Wall Television of Great Britain. Wall to Wall has produced, and Thirteen has presented, a few other House programs: THE 1900 HOUSE, 1940 HOUSE, MANOR HOUSE, and the upcoming REGENCY HOUSE. Many of the programs are available for purchase on VHS or DVD. Book companions are available for THE 1900 HOUSE and FRONTIER HOUSE. You may call 800-336-1917 for more information.
When will the series be broadcast on PBS?
The series premieres May 17, 18, 24, 25, 2004 from 8-10 pm each night on PBS. (Check local listings.) Rebroadcast schedules will vary from station to station.