via press release:
DISCOVERY CHANNEL COMMISSIONS TWO NEW SHOWS HIGHLIGHTING AMERICAN SUB-CULTURES IN APPALACHIA AND ALASKA
(Silver Spring, Md.) – From Appalachia to Alaska, the sub-cultures that exist in the United States are what make it so unique. Discovery Channel has commissioned MOONSHINERS (wt) and MOUNTAIN MEN OF ALASKA (wt), giving viewers a peak into two of these worlds. Both series will premiere this summer.
MOONSHINERS (wt), produced by Magilla Entertainment, follows a diverse group of people living in Appalachia who carry on a 200 year-old tradition passed down from their forefathers: making moonshine. While this practice is surprisingly alive and well in this region, it’s not always legal. MOONSHINERS (wt) tells the story of those who brew their shine – whether in the woods behind their house using camouflaged equipment or legally in their garages for local distribution – and the local authorities who try to keep them honest. The series show what life is like in the Appalachian Mountain region, a close-knit society where survival depends on resourcefulness and endurance. From hunting bear and raccoon to catching frogs and catfish, theirs is a world forgotten by modern conveniences.
MOUNTAIN MEN OF ALASKA (wt), produced by Discovery Studios, introduces viewers to the Kilcher family and their community outside Homer, Alaska. The Kilchers, lead by patriarch Atz Kilcher (singer Jewel’s father), have lived on their homestead for three generations. These men and women of the wild live off the land, spending their summers gardening, hunting and fishing for food to get them through the harsh Alaskan winters. Most live completely off the grid, with no running water and no electricity – and are proud of it. The series also features homesteaders who live near the Kilchers, including “Brother Roadkill” who is not above eating animals lying dead on the side of the road.
Exploring the lives of people making their own way is not new to Discovery. In late 2010 the network launched GOLD RUSH: ALASKA, a series following a group of men who risked it all to mine for gold in Alaska. They built their own camp on a claim spent months trying to dig gold out of the ground. The show quickly found a following and became cable’s #1 program on Friday nights (1). Discovery also saw success with FLYING WILD ALASKA, a series following the unconventional Tweto family based in remote Unalakleet, population: 752, who battle unforgiving Alaskan weather and terrain to transport life’s necessities to one of the most remote and extreme regions of America. The first episode was Discovery’s highest rated new series premiere of all time (2).
(1) Gold Rush: Alaska: Cable’s #1 program (no exclusions) in February 2011 on Friday nights, for Households, Persons 2+, Persons and Men 25-54 and Persons and Men 18-49 delivery. On Fridays in February 2011, Gold Rush was the #1 program in ALL of TELEVISION among Men 18-49 (2.34 HH / 1.66 P25-54 AA%).
(2) Flying Wild Alaska: The January 14, 2011 series premiere was the highest-rated new series premiere of all time on Discovery for Households and Adults 18+ and the #2 program (excluding sports) in ad-supported cable among M25-54 delivery on Friday nights (1.48 HH / 0.88 P25-54 AA%).