Travel Channel has greenlit seven new series and one new pilot as it expands its 2015 programming slate. The network also has renewed Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan for a third season and re-upped popular series Booze Traveler and Expedition Unknown for a second season, Shannon O’Neill, president, Travel Channel announced today.
The new series include 50/50 with Samantha Brown and Chris Grundy, described as a spontaneous adventure with a twist; Five Star Secrets, hosted by hotel expert Anthony Melchiorri, a behind-the-scenes look at the world’s best hotels; and Rev Runs Around The World, following Rev Run and his family on a worldwide journey as they test their limits with no set itinerary. There’s also coming-of-age docu series Boy To Man and Majestic America, which showcases America’s most beloved national parks; Curt Menafee-hosted Hello Goodbye focuses on travelers’ stories as they come and go from America’s busy airports. The network has also greenlit two half-hour episodes of new pilot, Relocated, which follows professionals and their families as they consider one of the hardest decisions of their lives.
Production has begun on Season 3 of Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan, the adventure series that follows actor and wildlife enthusiast Monaghan as he searches for the world’s most exotic animals. The first two seasons of Wild Things and the first two seasons of An Idiot Abroad have both been acquired by the network.
Here are details of Travel Channel’s new series, pilot, acquisitions and renewals.
Greenlit Productions (brief descriptions, in alphabetical order):
“50/50” is an action-packed show that starts with two Travel Channel hosts, unsuspecting people on the street and a simple premise: Would you like 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” is greenlit for eight half-hour episodes produced by Big Table Media.
In “Boy to Man,” adventurer and filmmaker Tim Noonan embarks on a solo journey of self-discovery to worlds beyond his imagination to try and unlock the mysteries of what it means to be the ultimate man. With just his gear and cameras, Noonan first has to earn the tribe’s trust. Over the next few weeks, he is put through rituals, initiations and grueling tests to man-up and prove himself worthy of their respect. Throughout the series, Noonan travels the world, stopping in places such as Siberia to join the reindeer people, the Nenets, goes native learning how to climb coconut trees in Guinea Bissau and trains a golden eagle with Kazakh men in Mongolia. “Boy to Man” is greenlit for 12 hour-long episodes produced by Seven Productions.
“Five Star Secrets” features host Anthony Melchiorri as he sets out to experience the hospitality industry’s most luxurious and amazing five star hotels. When Melchiorri checks into these well-run, high-end hotels, he interacts with staff, uses the property’s amazing amenities, asks questions and makes special requests. Melchiorri also gives great insider take-away information, as he goes behind the scenes at the hotels. At the end of each episode, Melchiorri identifies one hotel employee who displays above-and-beyond customer service, and he surprises him/her with a very generous $5000 tip, which he calls his Five Star Favorite Award. “Five Star Secrets” is greenlit for eight half-hour episodes produced by Atlas Media Corp.
“Follow Your Past” (previously announced as “Find My Past”) is a series that follows average Americans on a journey to breathtaking locations as they uncover their very personal connection to history’s most extraordinary events. In each episode, acclaimed journalist and author Alison Stewart takes individuals around the world from one incredible location to another, giving each person a chance to literally walk in their ancestors’ footsteps. Each step of the way, they learn important clues about their family’s contribution to world history. By journey’s end, their famous ancestor is revealed, and the historical impact of that person’s life will come into clear and striking focus. “Follow Your Past” is greenlit for 13 half-hour episodes produced by Lion TV USA.
“Hello Goodbye” captures some of life’s most precious moments as regular, everyday people arrive and depart from two of America’s largest airports, Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago O’Hare. The show highlights heart-warming – and sometimes heart-wrenching – stories of love, sorrow, betrayal and friendship from travelers of all walks of life and cultures. Viewers join host Curt Menefee (“Fox NFL Sunday”) as he strolls through terminals talking to travelers, discovering the surprising stories behind each arrival and departure. Each story reveals the raw emotions and unbelievable moments that take place every day between families and loved ones in airports across the country. “Hello Goodbye” is greenlit for 13 half-hour episodes produced by Ellen DeGeneres’ A Very Good Production in association with Telepictures and Shed Media. “Hello Goodbye” is based on the original format and hit international program “Hello Goodbye” by BlazHoffski Productions BV.
“Majestic America” (wt) soars across the country featuring travelers exploring awe-inspiring and internationally renowned wonders. America’s vast and iconic landscapes host climates and terrains that are as diverse as its people. In advance of the National Park Service’s 2016 centennial celebration, Travel Channel takes viewers well beyond ordinary sightseeing and showcases truly immersive experiences in some of America’s most beloved national parks like Yosemite, Canyonlands, Virgin Islands, Crater Lake and Yellowstone. Viewers will see America’s national parks like never before through first-person exploration, adrenaline-pumping adventures and once-in-a-lifetime happenings. “Majestic America” (wt) is greenlit for eight half-hour episodes produced by Macgillivray Freeman Films, in collaboration with a soon-to-be released IMAX film, “America Wild: U.S. National Parks” (wt).
“Rev Runs Around the World” features Rev Run, a world-famous rapper (Run DMC), social media maven (4m Twitter followers), style icon (Adidas) and television star (“Rev Run’s Renovation,” “Rev Run’s Sunday Suppers” and “Run’s House”). After spending years travelling the world with bandmates and friends, Rev Run is embarking on his next travel adventure — but this time with his wife, Justine, and their not-yet-out-of-the-house kids, Russy and Miley. Equipped with four round-the-world airline tickets, Rev and family will be stretched to their limits as they brave exotic territories, fascinating cultures, authentic food and much more. “Rev Runs Around the World” is greenlit for 16 half-hour episodes produced by Departure Films.
“Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan” (Season Three) is an exhilarating travel-adventure series that follows actor and wildlife enthusiast Dominic Monaghan (“Lost,” “The Lord of the Rings”) as he treks through the remote corners of the globe in search of some of the most exotic, bizarre and dangerous animals in the world. In Season Three, Monaghan takes viewers on an intimate journey through the rainforests of Brazil, the oceans of Mozambique, rich ecosystems of Madagascar and many more marvelous locales — to get up close and personal with some of the most elusive and extraordinary creatures known to man. Along the way, he’ll encounter vibrant locals, quirky experts and a host of species that inhabit the strange and wonderfully wild places on our planet. “Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan” is greenlit for eight hour-long episodes produced by Cream Productions/Wildfire.
“Relocated” follows the lives of professionals and their families, as they face the biggest decision they’ll ever make. Is a life-changing job worth leaving behind everything you know to live abroad in a strange new city thousands of miles away? Each episode features the story of a family faced with relocating to a foreign city from their current home. They hop a jet and travel to their prospective new city where they meet up with a relocation expert, who is often an ex-pat. These insightful relocators must tailor a three-day tour to their client’s specific needs and lifestyle. At the end, the families have to reveal their choice – stay or go. “Relocated” is a pilot greenlit for two half-hour episodes produced by Karga Seven Pictures.
“An Idiot Abroad” (Season One and Season Two) features Brit Karl Pilkington, who has led a sheltered life. Not having done any traveling, he enjoys living within the comforts of what he knows. As such, his friends, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, co-creators of “The Office” and “Extras,” decide to send Pilkington to various parts of the world to experience unfamiliar cultures. Merchant believes that travel is a life-broadening venture, and hopes that Pilkington will indeed feel like his life is enriched by these travels. Gervais, however, hopes that Pilkington will hate every minute of his travels. For Gervais, this experiment is the most expensive gag for his own pleasure that he could have conceived. “An Idiot Aboard” is produced by Mentorn Media, distributed by Passion Distribution.
“Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan” (Season One and Season Two) is an exhilarating travel-adventure series that follows actor and wildlife enthusiast, Dominic Monaghan, as he explores the remote corners of the globe in search of some of the most extraordinary animals in the world. From the rainforests of Ecuador, to the caves of Venezuela and the arid deserts of Namibia, each episode gives viewers an up close and personal encounter with some of the most dangerous and elusive creatures known to man.
Along the way, Monaghan will encounter vibrant locals, quirky experts and a host of creatures that inhabit the strange and wonderfully wild places on our planet. “Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan” is produced by Cream Productions/Wildfire.
While working in the bars of South Boston, Jack Maxwell learned one thing – sit down with a stranger and a couple of drinks, and the whole world opens up. In Season Two of “Booze Traveler,” viewers will continue to follow Maxwell on his search for the world’s most interesting drinks, the people who drink them, and the places, customs and cultures behind it all. This time around, the search takes Maxwell to locations around the world including Italy, Hungary, Greece and Tanzania. “Booze Traveler” is greenlit for 16 one-hour episodes produced by Karga Seven Pictures in association with White Reindeer Productions.
In Season Two of “Expedition Unknown,” the series continues to chronicle the adventures of Josh Gates as he investigates unsolved iconic stories across the globe. Armed with a degree in archeology and a passion for travel, Gates begins by uncovering recent developments in the story, then springboards into a fully immersive exploration. This season, the authentic, roughshod journeys lead Gates closer to the truth behind compelling stories including the mystery of Christopher Columbus’s early life, the lost tomb of Genghis Khan in Mongolia, and Blackbeard’s illustrious treasure in the Caribbean. To separate fact from fiction, Gates immerses himself in different cultures to understand the world as the people of those cultures do. His ultimate goal is always to find the truth behind the legend. “Expedition Unknown” is greenlit for 16 one-hour episodes produced by Ping Pong Productions.