FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
PBS Announces “Chasing Shackleton,”
A New Three-Part Adventure Series Debuting Wednesday, January 8th
Wednesdays, January 8th - 22nd at 9:00pm on WTVP-HD 47.1.
- Team of Explorers Makes Modern-Day History by Re-creating the Path of Shackleton’s
Legendary Voyage of Survival as the Centenary of the Daring 'Endurance' Expedition Approaches -
CHASING SHACKLETON, a new three-part series about a modern
expedition that follows the path of history’s most extraordinary survival story, will premiere
Wednesdays, January 8-22, 2014 at from 9-10:00 p.m. on WTVP-HD 47.1. The series follows a crew
of five intrepid explorers led by renowned adventurer, scientist and author Tim Jarvis as they
re-create Shackleton’s epic sea-and-land voyage in a replica of the original explorers’ boat, using
only the tools and supplies his team used.
Learn more at the Shackleton Epic website [Click Here].
Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Trans-Antarctic Expedition, which launched in 1914, met with
disaster when his ship The Endurance was crushed by arctic ice and sank. His heroic leadership in
the face of almost certain death saved the lives of 27 men stranded in the Antarctic for more than 500
days, and has inspired explorers and leaders across every continent over many generations.
Jarvis’ team’s recreation included crossing the treacherous Southern Ocean from Elephant
Island to South Georgia (800 nautical miles) in a small wooden boat while battling gales, rough
seas and stomach-churning swells. Once on land, the crew faced weather conditions they described
as “Scotland on steroids” — simultaneous high winds, torrential rain, snow, hail and ice. When the
weather eased, Jarvis and two teammates (Barry Gray and Paul Larsen) trekked inland to reach an old
whaling station at Stromness on South Georgia, traversing an icy, crevasse-riddled mountain range in
unmapped territory, the route Shackleton and his men took as their only hope for rescue almost a
“Every time we thought we’d won, another obstacle presented itself,” Jarvis said,
referring to several incidents shown in CHASING SHACKLETON, including the
crew’s encounter with a lake they expected to be a glacier (it had since melted) and a home-stretch
climb that led to a nearly impassable, 1000-foot drop that took three terrifying hours to descend.
“This is among the most exciting adventure programs we’ve ever presented,” said Beth
Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming, PBS.
“CHASING SHACKLETON combines elements our audiences love, from a ripping,
real-life yarn, to science, history and exploration.”
“We are so pleased to be working with PBS on this unique project,” said Sam Maynard,
Executive Producer at Raw. “It has been an incredible undertaking to film this modern-day
exploration of a true story of unparalleled bravery and physical endurance.”
The expedition, which occurred over three weeks in early 2013, had been in
development since 2008 when Shackleton’s granddaughter Alexandra approached Jarvis with the idea to
honor her grandfather and his heroic achievements. After agreeing to the challenge, Jarvis selected
a team of British and Australian adventurers based on their determination, passion for adventure
and their sailing and climbing skills.
“One of the most crucial decisions Shackleton made during his expedition — indeed,
pivotal to his success — was his choice of crew for the James Caird,” Jarvis said, referring
to the 22.5-foot wooden lifeboat that carried a small team of survivors after The Endurance
was crushed and sank. While Jarvis’ crew had its share of differences en route, he says the team’s
general accord was a necessary element. “When you’re constantly worried about dying, you don’t
really have time to disagree,” he said.
Jarvis’s vessel, named Alexandra Shackleton, was an exact replica of the
James Caird, from its hand-stitched sails made from 1914 sailcloth down to the brass screws
that held its wooden planks together. To complete the authentic experience the team used 100-year-old
equipment, navigational tools and period clothing that, perhaps, helped them unlock Shackleton’s
survival secrets, and gain insight into the original crew’s courage. State-of-the-art cameras were
built into the boat and expedition cameraman/director Ed Wardle joined the crew to capture the action
as it happened.
Tim Jarvis AM is an environmental scientist, author, adventurer and public speaker
with Masters Degrees in environmental science and environmental law. He is committed to finding
pragmatic solutions to major environmental issues related to climate change and biodiversity loss
and uses his public speaking engagements, films and books to promote progress thinking in these areas.
Jarvis recently was named the 2013 Adventurer of the Year by Australian Geographic and awarded with
the 2013 Sydney Institute of Marine Science Emerald Award his for conservation work. He was conferred
a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to environment, community and exploration in the
2010 Australian honors list and was made a Fellow of the Yale World Fellows Program, 2009 based on his
international leadership in the field of environmental sustainability.
CHASING SHACKLETON is part of PBS’ ongoing commitment to
present the best science and nature programs on television. Throughout 2014, PBS continues to expand
its popular, acclaimed Wednesday night programs into the 9 p.m. hour to build thematic nights around
key new anchor miniseries with audience favorites NATURE at 7:00pm and
NOVA at 8:00pm.
- The four-part miniseries SUPER SKYSCRAPERS (which premieres February 5,
9:00pm) follows the creation of extraordinary buildings expected to revolutionize the
way we live, work and protect ourselves from threats both natural and man-made, while that same
night at 8:00pm, NOVA begins a series of new math and engineering-focused programs, including
“Catacombs: Roman Plague” (w.t.), followed by “Mystery of the Duomo” (w.t.) on February 12th
and “The Great Math Mystery” on February 26th.
- YOUR INNER FISH (which premieres April 9th, 9:00pm), based on the
best-selling book by Neil Shubin, travels from Africa to the Arctic Circle to uncover the 3.5 billion
year history of the human body — and how a colorful cast of ancient characters made us who we are
today. YOUR INNER FISH airs alongside related programming from
NATURE and NOVA, which will premiere “Bionic Animals”
(April 9th) and “Inside Animal Minds” (April 2nd - 16th), respectively.
Additional upcoming science highlights this season include HAWKING
(January 29th, 9:00pm), which reveals the fascinating life story and challenging daily
existence of the world’s most famous scientist, Stephen Hawking.
CHASING SHACKLETON is produced by Raw TV for Discovery
Communications Europe and PBS. The program is executive produced by Elizabeth McIntyre and Helen
Hawken for Discovery Networks Western Europe and Kathryn Taylor, Sam Maynard and Dimitri Doganis
for Raw TV. Overseen for PBS by Donald H. Thoms, Vice President, General Audience Programming.
Coinciding with the PBS series, a companion book titled CHASING SHACKLETON:
Re-creating the World’s Greatest Journey of Survival will be released by William Morrow
publishing on January 7th. This book, excitingly written and richly illustrated, details every
stage of Tim Jarvis’ epic journey. Packed with images of both the original voyage and its modern
recreation, CHASING SHACKLETON is a visual feast for readers and historians alike, as well
as an essential companion to the story that has inspired adventurers across every continent for over
three generations. For more information on the companion book, CHASING SHACKLETON, please visit
PBS Distribution will release the DVD version of CHASING SHACKLETON
on February 4, 2014, after the PBS broadcast.
Raw is an independent production company that has built its reputation for great storytelling and
visual innovation by delivering high quality, popular and award-winning programming across a wide
range of genres for broadcasters across the globe. Gold Rush on Discovery Channel has
broken audience records for the network; Locked Up Abroad on National Geographic is now
the longest-running series in the network's history at over 80 hours; Raw’s success in the UK
includes the multi Emmy Award winning cross-platform project Battlefront,
Neighbourhood Watched and most recently The Town That Caught Tourette’s.
The company was founded in 2001 by Dimitri Doganis, who continues to work as Managing
Director and Executive Producer across many of Raw TV’s productions. Bart Layton joined in 2005 as
Creative Director and spearheads the development of new projects across the company. Sam Maynard,
highly experienced show runner and executive producer, is Head of US Factual.
Raw has offices in London and New York. More information is available at
PBS, with its over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore
new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 120
million people through television and nearly 29 million people online, inviting them to experience
the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take
front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been
consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions.
Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital
content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and
its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners
in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available
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For further information contact Linda Miller, WTVP Vice President of
at (309) 495-0591 or email@example.com
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