America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston premieres on PBS July 5. There are six episodes, as Thurston embarks “on an adventure-filled journey to explore the diverse array of regions across the U.S. and how those landscapes shape the way Americans work, play and interact with the outdoors,” according to PBS.
He investigates wilderness pilots in Idaho, coal miners turned beekeepers in Appalachia and Black surfers in Los Angeles, among other groups. The pilot sees him visit Death Valley and those who thrive in the extreme conditions.
“We’re thrilled to join Baratunde as he takes us on a journey to America’s wild spaces,” Bill Gardner, VP, multiplatform programming and head of development at PBS, said. “So much of our history and culture is tied to the outdoors, and Baratunde’s unique ability to connect with people takes viewers to some unexpected places to explore just how our relationship with the outdoors is deeper and more important than we might think.”
Thurston is an author, podcaster and TV host. He’s worked for The Daily Show and The Onion and hosts the podcast How to Citizen with Baratunde.
“This show was so much more than I expected,” Thurston said. “I got a chance to reconnect with the beautifully diverse people of this country on the common ground we all share. From Indigenous nations who were here before we became a nation, to multi-generation ranchers and watermen, to newly-arrived refugees, this isn’t just a show about the outdoors. It’s a show about America. Oh, and the cinematography is just epic. Best selfies of my life for sure.” ■
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.