Today at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, PBS and WTTW Chicago announced Prehistoric Road Trip, a new three-part natural history series that combines science, culture and history and brings viewers along for an unforgettable expedition through hundreds of millions of years of history. Prehistoric Road Trip is hosted by popular YouTube personality Emily Graslie, Chief Curiosity Correspondent at the Field Museum. The adventure begins on PBS stations around the country in summer 2020.
“PBS is proud to partner on this engaging series, which is unlike anything we’ve presented before,” said Perry Simon, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming at PBS. “Emily is a unique talent with an amazing and dedicated YouTube fan base, and we are thrilled to emphasize the importance of science literacy and STEM education in a multiplatform new project. Prehistoric Road Trip does all of this, and in a way that is fun and accessible to PBS audiences from all different backgrounds.”
“Prehistoric Road Trip represents an extraordinary opportunity for WTTW and PBS to take our inherently curious audiences on a journey of discovery,” said Sandra Cordova Micek, President and CEO of WTTW. “At WTTW, our purpose is to enrich lives, engage communities and inspire exploration. With this new miniseries, we hope to foster scientific curiosity while inspiring people of all ages to set off on their own adventures.”
“The Field Museum is honored to be a part of this exciting series with Emily Graslie, which aims to make paleontology and fossil hunting accessible to a wider audience,” said Richard Lariviere, CEO and President of the Field Museum. “Every day, we find new evidence of just how interconnected our world is, and we’re thrilled to see that this will be showcased.”
In Prehistoric Road Trip, host Emily Graslie hits the road for a fun and fascinating journey around the Dakotas, Montana, Nebraska and Wyoming to explore 2.5 billion years of our planet’s history. Each of the three episodes examines different eras in time, focusing on the geology, ecology and environment. To discover what the landscape may have resembled millions or even billions of years ago, Graslie examines the fossils of former plants and animals. On this immersive adventure, Graslie will uncover and discover the history of North American dinosaurs and other fascinating prehistoric creatures, including ancient fishes, mammoths and early mammals. Filmed in stunning 4K resolution, using state-of-the-art drone technology and featuring dynamic illustration graphics, the series will bring this now-extinct world to life.
“I could not be more excited to be partnering with PBS and WTTW Chicago on a project that has been a dream of mine for a really long time,” said Graslie. “I am thrilled that I get to share my love of nature, history, paleontology and – in general – really old, really dead stuff with the PBS audience. And, this is an incredible opportunity for me to revisit my home state of South Dakota, where I grew up exploring the great outdoors as a kid and am looking forward to rediscovering today as an adult.”
In addition to three 60-minute television episodes, audiences can experience Prehistoric Road Trip on a companion website and social channels featuring original digital content, behind-the-scenes travel journals, an interactive road trip map and more.
Prehistoric Road Trip is a production of WTTW Chicago. Host, writer and executive producer is Emily Graslie. The director is Ally Gimbel. Geoffrey Baer and Ally Gimbel are executive producers for WTTW Chicago. Erin E. O’Flaherty will oversee the project for PBS.
Major funding for Prehistoric Road Trip is provided by The Negaunee Foundation. Major funding also comes from The Grainger Foundation, The Robert Thomas Bobins Foundation, PBS, and WTTW donors and members.