PBS Set to Air HOPE IN THE WATER, A Character-Driven Nature Docu-Series, in Summer 2024
From James Beard Award-Winning Andrew Zimmern's Intuitive Content, The Three-Part Series is Headlined by Environmental Enthusiasts Shailene Woodley, Martha Stewart and Baratunde Thurston
José Andrés Serves as Special Guest in the Series
ARLINGTON, VA.; NOV. 9, 2023 -- PBS announced today it is serving up a groundbreaking, three-part character-driven docuseries HOPE IN THE WATER, from multi-award-winning producer and storytelling visionary David E. Kelley ("Love & Death,""Lincoln Lawyer," "Big Little Lies") in collaboration with 4-time James Beard Award and Emmy Award winner Chef Andrew Zimmern and his production company Intuitive Content (MSNBC's "What's Eating America," "Family Dinner," "Andrew Zimmern's Wild Game Kitchen," "Feral"), which will premiere Summer 2024 on PBS (check local listings), PBS.org and the PBS App.
Marking Kelley's foray into docu-series television, HOPE IN THE WATER travels the globe to discover the creative solutions and breakthrough blue food technologies that could not only feed us but help save our threatened seas and fresh waterways. The series highlights the stories of amazing innovators, aquafarmers, and fishers who are working toward a sustainable future for the planet.
"We're particularly excited about HOPE IN THE WATER's potential to reach broad audiences thanks to the powerful voices at the forefront of the series, who demonstrate the possibilities of a more sustainable future," said Bill Gardner, vice president, multiplatform programming and head of development at PBS. "With a commitment to extensive public engagement around the series, we aim to not only bring compelling and authentic documentary content to audiences but also to connect and strengthen voices, people and communities with real world ways to make a difference."
Celebrated environmental enthusiasts Shailene Woodley, Martha Stewart, José Andrés and Baratunde Thurston reveal hidden underworlds jeopardized by climate change, irresponsible fishing and exploitation, and habitat destruction. They are each authentically tied to a particular story, seeking smart solutions to a planet in peril.
"Through HOPE IN THE WATER we are on a mission to reimagine a planet where both ecological balance and food abundance are possible. Our series is a fresh take on how we can rewrite menus worldwide that will create meaningful and lasting impact for generations to come," said Kelley. "Andrew and I are buoyed by our enthusiastic collaborators - Shailene, Martha, Baratunde and José - and are proud to partner with the Earth-conscious changemakers at PBS."
An inspiring actor and activist, Woodley grew up surfing the California coast and has witnessed firsthand how "zombie" purple urchins have taken over and destroyed kelp forests. She goes underwater with urchin divers who collect the barren urchins then deliver them to a farm where their buttery roe is grown and harvested - turning an ecological imbalance into a sellable commodity and helping to save the kelp at the same time.
"It's my hope that through this important work, we can collectively practice better alternatives that will nourish communities across the planet and sustain our waters," said Woodley.
A multi-talented entrepreneur, tastemaker, author, and conservationist, Stewart has a deep connection to the Gulf of Maine - the fastest-warming body of water on the planet. She sails into Penobscot Bay where a young fisherman abandoned his plans of lobstering for a more sustainable alternative: scallop farming. As Stewart cooks the scallops, she notes that Maine's famous lobsters are now migrating further north in search of colder water. Aquafarms like this are the future.
"The interconnectivity between Earth and all its inhabitants has always inspired my passions," noted Stewart. "We've been given the gift of this incredible planet - the only one we call home - and when we pair it with human ingenuity to think outside the box, we can become more eco-friendly and expect better for our future."
A renowned chef and humanitarian, Andrés recounts the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico in 2017. He and volunteers with World Central Kitchen prepared more than four million meals to feed hungry survivors. Importantly, World Central Kitchen also provided grants to fishers to repair boats, buy new engines, and rebuild their fishery. Marine conservationist Raimundo Espinoza assisted that effort and is now helping these fishers pivot to a new and sustainable species: 60-lb., diamondback squid.
Baratunde Thurston tells a better story of us, weaving together threads of technology, democracy, and climate through his work as an Emmy-nominated host, producer, writer, and public speaker. He is a founding partner of the new media startup Puck and creator and host of the "How To Citizen" podcast. He is also the host and executive producer of the PBS television series "America Outdoors." Baratunde is committed to telling stories that help us live together better, with each other and with the planet.
"I've assessed all the planets and strongly prefer life on Earth. It's essential that we find ways to take care of this planet which is another way of saying take care of ourselves," stated Thurston.
HOPE IN THE WATER is part of a larger multi-year impact campaign led by the non-profit, Fed by Blue. The mission of Fed by Blue is to provide and inspire visionaries, thought leaders, ocean lovers, activists, early adopters, foodies, and consumers with the knowledge and materials to help protect and participate in a responsible blue food system.
"Fed by Blue is working to amplify efforts that are bringing new pathways, new dialogue, and new perceptions about the importance of foods that come from water. Helping to develop a docuseries on this topic has been an anchor for our greater work," said co-founder Jennifer Bushman.
HOPE IN THE WATER is part of a multiyear, multiplatform initiative from PBS that explores every aspect of how climate change impacts communities, countries, and the entire planet. The comprehensive focus represents PBS's biggest-ever commitment to the topic, providing a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding climate change and exploring its intersections with conservation, biodiversity, and the ecosystem. PBS and its member stations will create a rich destination of storytelling that details the challenges of a changing climate while highlighting examples of hope and positive impact. Learn more about PBS's commitment to Climate, Nature & Our Planet.
Funding for HOPE IN THE WATER was provided, in part, by Anne Ray Foundation.
Award-winning filmmaker Brian Peter Falk (Robert Redford's "The Conspirator," "Against the Sun," "What's Eating America") serves as director of HOPE IN THE WATER. The docu-series is produced by Intuitive Content with Andrew Zimmern and Patrick Weiland as executive producers. Blue-foods experts and advocates Jennifer Bushman, Jill Kauffman Johnson, and Katherine Bryar serve as advisors and impact producers. Bill Gardner serves as executive-in-charge for PBS.
About Intuitive Content
Founded by chef Andrew Zimmern and based in Minneapolis, Intuitive Content develops and produces dynamic original television series and broadcast specials while partnering with some of the world's biggest companies to create brand-driven series and web content. The company's expertise and focus are creating entertainment around captivating human narrative, food, lifestyle and travel. Intuitive Content is dedicated to illuminating cultures around the globe with integrity and an exceptional production value. The company's series include "Family Dinner" (Magnolia Network/discovery+), "ZoëBakes" (Magnolia Network/discovery+), "Feral" (Outdoor Channel), "Wild Game Kitchen" (Outdoor Channel), "What's Eating America" (MSNBC), "Crash Test World" (Discovery), "The Zimmern List" (Travel Channel) "How to Survive a Murder" (Reelz), "Appetite for Life" (Toyota), and more.
About David E. Kelley
Multi award-winning writer and producer David E. Kelley is behind some of America's most groundbreaking and distinctive television programs that address contemporary issues such as social justice, diversity, and privilege. He is the creator of the Emmy, Peabody, and Golden Globe Award-winning shows "Boston Legal," "The Practice," "Ally McBeal," plus the critically acclaimed dramatic series "Boston Public," "Chicago Hope," and "Picket Fences." Kelley's adaptation of Liane Moriarty's book "Big Little Lies" received multiple awards including an Emmy for Outstanding Limited Series as well as four Golden Globes. His latest projects include HBO's most-watched series of 2020 "The Undoing," Hulu's most-watched original series "Nine Perfect Strangers," and the upcoming series "Love And Death" for HBO Max. In addition to his incredible TV career, Kelley is the founder of Riverence, the largest grower of steelhead and rainbow trout in North America, with approximately 20 sustainably-managed farms in Idaho and Washington State.
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