via press release:
YOUNG ESKIMOS PLOT THEIR ESCAPE TO THE LOWER 48 IN TLC’S NEW SERIES ESCAPING ALASKA
— Six-Part Series Follows Journey of Eskimo Youth Making a Break From their Culture for Life in California —
— New Series is the First from Discovery Networks International (DNI) Production Unit to Make US Premiere on TLC Ahead of Worldwide Rollout —
(Los Angeles, California and London, United Kingdom) – TLC and Discovery Networks International (DNI) today announced the premiere of ESCAPING ALASKA, an original six-part series following a group of five young people of Inuit, Inupiaq and Yupik descent who risk everything in the pursuit of their dreams as they leave their frigid Alaskan homes for sunny San Diego. The series will make its global debut on TLC on Sunday, July 27 at 9 PM (ET/PT) before rolling out internationally to more than 200 countries and territories across Western Europe, CEEMEA (Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa), Latin America, the Nordics, Canada and Asia-Pacific. ESCAPING ALASKA is the first original production from DNI to debut first on TLC in the United States and then cascade out internationally. Hot Snakes Media is producing the series for DNI.
The series chronicles the dramatic and emotional journey of Mary, Frank, Tamara, Qituvituag (also known as “Q”) and Nuala, as they embark on their high-stakes “escape” from Alaska to explore the world outside their villages and small towns. Although they love their families and take pride in their heritage, they are yearning for more fulfilment and different experiences. ESCAPING ALASKA captures their brave journey as they leave their sheltered lives behind.
Eskimo communities are very insular and leaving is considered the worst betrayal in that culture, forcing these young people to not only leave their families, but mislead them with their intentions. Instead of revealing to their families that they want to leave for California to explore their independence and find work, they each create a unique cover story to deceive their families and leave home.
Cameras follow the cast as they struggle to adapt to the pressures of living together outside of their comfort zone, while also staying in contact with the families they have left back home. As they explore dating, working and finding new “dream” jobs and discovering themselves, they have to ultimately face the decision of whether to return to Alaska – if they are accepted back, or stay in the lower 48 and leave home for good.
“ESCAPING ALASKA provides a rare window into a remote world that is quite foreign to many of TLC viewers – a look at the lives of an endangered culture and private community that is seldom seen by the lower 48,” said Jon Sechrist, vice president, production and development for DNI, who commissioned and executive produced the series. “The series is a fascinating study of people struggling to preserve their traditional way of life, and the aspirations of its younger generation who are seeking their own way. The five characters featured are a microcosm of their community.”
TLC is a global brand that celebrates extraordinary people and relatable life moments through innovative nonfiction programming. A top 10 cable network in key female demos, TLC has built successful consumer brands around series including Cake Boss, and has transformed Fridays into “BrideDay” with a lineup of wedding-themed programming anchored by the Say Yes To The Dress franchise. In 2013, TLC had 32 series averaging 1 million P2+ viewers or more, including seven series that averaged 2 million P2+ viewers or more, the most ever in a year: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Sister Wives, Long Island Medium, The Little Couple, Who Do You Think You Are?, Breaking Amish: Brave New World, and Breaking Amish: LA.
TLC is available in nearly 99 million homes in the US and 329 million households in 167 markets internationally. A destination online, TLC.com offers in-depth fan sites, exclusive video content, and original editorial covering style, home, food, and more. Fans can also interact with TLC via On Demand services, on mobile platforms, and through social media such as Facebook or @TLC on Twitter. TLC is part of Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA,DISCB, DISCK), the world’s number one nonfiction media company reaching more than two billion cumulative subscribers in 224 countries and territories.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world’s #1 pay-TV programmer reaching 2.5 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 220 countries and territories. Discovery is dedicated to satisfying curiosity, engaging and entertaining viewers with high-quality content on more than 200 worldwide television networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery and Science, as well as U.S. joint venture networks OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and the Hub Network. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools, including an award-winning series of K-12 digital textbooks, and a digital leader with a diversified online portfolio, including Discovery Digital Networks. Discovery Networks International distributes 47 international brands via 255 localized feeds, with programming available in 45 languages. For more information please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.