Peabody award-winning correspondent Mariana van Zeller
Four New Series: ‘Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations,’ ‘Breaking Borders,’ ‘Guiding Alaska’ and ‘Watt’s World;’ and Two One-Hour Special Programming Events: ‘The Trip: 2015’ and ‘Travel Channel Star’
Plus, Two New Pilots Featuring Samantha Brown: ‘50/50’ (wt) and ‘Track Down Samantha Brown’ (wt); and ‘Time Traveling with Brian Unger’ Upped to 13 Episodes
CHEVY CHASE, Md. – Travel Channel expands upon its commitment to create travel entertainment programming that connects its viewers to the world’s most fascinating people, places and cultures. The Network announces today the addition of four new original series including: “Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations” with Andrew Zimmern, an expansion of the popular “Bizarre Foods” franchise; “Breaking Borders” featuring Peabody award-winning correspondent Mariana van Zeller and celebrated chef Michael Voltaggio; “Guiding Alaska,” chronicling an adventurous season at a wilderness resort; and “Watt’s World,” hosted by Emmy Award-winning reporter and journalist Nick Watt.
Rounding out the greenlit programs are two new one-hour original specials anchoring multi-platform initiatives: the Network’s third-annual programming event and sweepstakes, “The Trip: 2015,” showcases the most luxurious Hawaiian hot spots, and “Travel Channel Star,” which spotlights the winner of Travelchannel.com’s search for the host of a new digital travel series. Also, popular Travel Channel expert Samantha Brown will host two half-hour pilots: “50/50” (wt) with co-host Chris Grundy, which surprises unsuspecting bystanders with a 50-hour adventure worth $50K; and “Track Down Samantha Brown” (wt), where Brown will keep viewers guessing before she reveals her hidden destination – teasing the audience with clues along the way.
In addition, “Time Traveling with Brian Unger” (formerly announced as “Brian Unger Project”) has been upped to 13 episodes from the original six episodes announced earlier this year.
“Travel Channel is committed to owning the travel category 24/7. These new series and specials represent the expansive and diverse range of travel entertainment programming that the Network continues to roll out,” said Shannon O’Neill, President, Travel Channel. “We’re taking our viewers on a global journey to majestic landscapes and ancient marketplaces, where they will meet fascinating people that share their personal stories. These are the stories that connect our viewers to each other and the world, and has been a key component to what drives the appeal of our shows.”
Greenlit Productions (brief descriptions, in alphabetical order; premiere dates TBD if not otherwise noted):
“Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations,” premiering on Monday, January 26 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT, is an extension of the long-running and popular “Bizarre Foods” franchise. “Bizarre Foods: “Delicious Destinations,” hosted by renowned chef and culinary explorer Andrew Zimmern, is a travel series that digs into the not-to-be-missed unique & exotic foods that define a location. Every traveler wants to try a crepe in Paris, gelato in Florence, fish ‘n’ chips in London or a Po’ Boy in New Orleans. But how many really know how these foods were invented, where they came from, how they are made, and the right way to eat them; and finally, who makes the best ones? “Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations” is greenlit for 13 half-hour episodes produced by Tremendous Entertainment.
“Breaking Borders” pairs Peabody Award-winning correspondent Mariana van Zeller with celebrated chef Michael Voltaggio as they strive to uncover the personal stories, perspectives and rich cultures in well-known conflict zones. Van Zeller and Voltaggio share a simple, but unique goal: to gather people from both sides of the conflict for an amazing meal and an animated discussion in search of common ground. “Breaking Borders,” previously announced as a pilot, is greenlit for 13 one-hour episodes produced by MY Tupelo Entertainment.
“Guiding Alaska” takes viewers on an adventure to one of Alaska’s most unique and remote wilderness resorts. Located 300 miles from civilization, the Tikchik Narrows Lodge, and its savvy and eccentric crew, welcomes the challenge of serving its guests with exhilarating outdoor adventures and world-class cuisine. Whether it’s flying floatplanes in for every single supply (ranging from butter to mattresses), to catching 52-pound king salmon or evading wild bears, viewers witness all the triumphs and hardships that go into running a business in the heart of the Alaskan wilderness. “Guiding Alaska,” previously announced as a pilot, is greenlit for eight one-hour episodes produced by Orion Entertainment.
“Time Traveling with Brian Unger” goes where ordinary travelers can’t, using eye-popping CGI graphics to visually travel back in time and tell stories from yesteryear. Host Brian Unger is the ultimate tour guide, sharing tales that tourists won’t find in the guidebooks. He brings his irreverent humor and point of view to fascinating stories most Americans don’t know yet. In each episode, locals agree to accompany Unger to destinations they’ve never visited before, and are off limits to the general public. “Time Traveling with Brian Unger,” previously greenlit for six episodes, has been upped to 13 one-hour episodes produced by Half Yard Productions.
“Watt's World” chronicles Emmy award-winning reporter and journalist Nick Watt during his travels across the world, discovering all that is surprising and beautiful about planet Earth and its sub-cultures. Having spent 15 years as an overseas correspondent for ABC News in such places as London, Afghanistan and Iraq, Watt's inquisitive nature enables him to dig deep and unearth unique and provocative stories on his journeys. “Watt’s World,” previously announced as a pilot, is greenlit for 13 half-hour episodes produced by ABC Lincoln Square Productions.
“The Trip: 2015,” anchors Travel Channel’s third annual multi-platform programming event with a one-hour special premiering on Monday, January 26 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. Each year, the Network scours the globe in search of the year's hottest destination and gifts one lucky viewer a mind-blowing travel itinerary. This year, “The Trip: 2015” features the stunning islands of Hawaii! Travel Channel hosts Samantha Brown, Bert Kreischer, Anthony Melchiorri and Don Wildman take viewers on an epic journey exploring the distinct culture and personality, original cuisine and breath-taking adventure found only in America’s own tropical island backyard. “The Trip 2015” is greenlit for one one-hour special produced by High Noon Entertainment.
“Travel Channel Star” is a one-hour special that will serve as the finale to the year-long quest to uncover Travel Channel’s next person, couple or group whose undeniable thirst for travel and adventure stands out from the rest. Travel Channel’s master of fun Bert Kreischer will host the special and recap highlights from the competition series, first seen exclusively on TravelChannel.com. The special will feature the most humorous, dramatic and captivating moments of the digital series including contestants’ videos, plus judges’ feedback, destination takeaway, behind-the-scenes footage, the elimination process and social media comments. Ultimately, the two finalists join Kreischer and the judges, and a winner is decided. “Travel Channel Star” is being produced by Scripps Productions.
“50/50” (wt) is an action-packed show that starts with two Travel Channel hosts, unsuspecting people on the street and a simple question: Do you want to go on an extreme getaway for 50 hours, worth $50,000 dollars? Can you leave immediately? Travel Channel expert Samantha Brown and her adventurous pal Chris Grundy are heading to a town near you and they’re doing the asking. If you say "yes," it’s wheels up on an unforgettable two-day getaway worth $50,000 dollars – and you’ll get to choose where you go, what you do, what you eat and when you sleep. But there’s one catch – you must drop everything and leave right now! 50 hours. 50 grand. One spontaneous adventure! “50/50” (wt) is greenlit for two half-hour pilots produced by Big Table Media.
In “Track Down Samantha Brown” (wt), viewers will be transported to a different locale that could be anywhere in the world. But, unlike most other travel programs, the location will not be revealed…until the end. With carefully constructed shooting and story selection, Brown will keep the locale a secret while providing clues along the way that will allow the audience to play along as they try to figure out where is Samantha Brown. “Track Down Samantha Brown” (wt) is greenlit for two half-hour pilots produced by Optomen Productions.
TRAVEL CHANNEL (http://www.TravelChannel.com
) is a multiplatform travel lifestyle brand with the core mission of providing inspiring and compelling programming that takes viewers beyond their everyday destinations, making the unfamiliar familiar, whether it's around the world or around the block. A dual feed network that is also available in HD, Travel Channel is the world’s leading travel media brand, and is available in over 94 million U.S. cable homes. Owned and operated by Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), Travel Channel has offices in Chevy Chase, MD, and New York, NY. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI) also owns and operates HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country.
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