Production Begins Summer 2008
(March 26, 2008, Arlington, VA)--PBS and Oregon Public Broadcasting announced today the green-lighting of a new primetime series that sends archaeologists on a race against time as they excavate historic sites around the nation. TIME TEAM, USA, (w.t.), based on the long-running and highly successful British series “Time Team,” will place a team of archaeological experts in a dig site with only three days to unearth its buried secrets.
A co-production of Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) and Videotext Communications, TIME TEAM, USA (w.t.) is slated to begin production in summer 2008, with national broadcast of six episodes in 2009 or 2010
“Exploring archaeological digs with TIME TEAM, USA will be like the best of adventure-learning vacations, but with the added opportunity to explore multiple sites and subjects through the eyes of pre-eminent experts in their fields,” said John F. Wilson, PBS senior vice president and chief TV programming officer. “OPB has a strong track record of producing innovative series, and we’re confident TIME TEAM, USA will measure up to our summer hit HISTORY DETECTIVES, also produced by OPB, and celebrating its 6th season this year.”
TIME TEAM, USA (w.t.) will take viewers into scientific digs, as experts uncover America’s rich history. The fast-paced series will intertwine high-tech geophysics, artists’ renditions of the past and computer reconstructions with more traditional archeological techniques. But the team of experts will have a mere 72 hours onsite to disinter artifacts and other significant materials; when time’s up, they’ll report what they’ve learned. Camera crews, tracking each step, will give the audience an archaeology-as-it-happens experience.
TIME TEAM, USA’s (w.t.) cohort of landscape specialists, paleontologists, historical archaeologists and other experts will explore some of America’s most intriguing archeological sites. Locations under consideration include rock shelters and pre-historic art in Montana’s Valley of the Shields; the Indian Mounds of Mississippi, earth pyramids outside St. Louis, Missouri; and the country’s most ancient campsite, the Skull Creek Dune in southeastern Oregon. One episode of the series will scrutinize 700-year-old human remains found in northwestern New Mexico, where the most up-to-date evidence suggests that the victims died in a violent battle.
“The series offers a blend of archaeology and entertainment that will be unique to television,” said David Davis, executive producer for OPB. “We want the series to have a ‘live’ feel, with elements of jeopardy and teamwork. It will also feature the latest technology, including ground-penetrating radar and 3-D computer graphics.”
The TIME TEAM, USA (w.t.) Web site will extend the over-the-shoulder sensibility of the series, giving viewers an intimate and detailed look into the stories of the digs. Using digital video, photos, blogs, animated graphics and interactive features, the Web site will invite viewers to engage further in the twists, turns and unexpected discoveries of each excavation.
Graham Dixon, a longtime producer for the UK series on which TIME TEAM, USA (w.t.) is based, will lead the American co-producers, OPB and Videotext Communications, as series producer. Executive producer for OPB is David Davis; executive producer for Videotext Communications is Tim Taylor, the originator of the series in the UK.
Funding for TIME TEAM, USA (w.t.) is provided by Channel Four International, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Public Television Viewers and PBS.
About Oregon Public Broadcasting
Providing free access to programming for children and adults, OPB is Oregon’s most far-reaching and accessible media resource, designed to give voice to community, connect Oregon and its neighbors and illuminate a wider world. OPB is also one of the nation’s top producers and presenters of public television programming, including primetime series, national news features, travel shows, historical documentaries and specials that address contemporary issues. OPB is a member station of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), National Public Radio (NPR), Public Radio International (PRI) and American Public Media (APM). For more information about OPB’s national production services, visit www.opb.org.
PBS is a media enterprise that serves 355 public noncommercial television stations and reaches nearly 73 million people each week through on-air and online content. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is a leading provider of digital learning content for pre-K-12 educators and offers a broad array of other educational services. PBS’ premier kids’ TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (www.pbskids.org), continue to be parents’ and teachers’ most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.