Posts From October, 2015

New reality show about county government 

Across the County Line to begin production in 2016
Posted by Todd McGee Thursday, October 1, 2015 9:25:00 AM Categories: News

Stories and Characters Wanted for A New TV show all about Counties

The producers of a show in development called “Across the County Line” are looking for big stories and big characters for an upcoming television series that will focus on the work done every day by America’s county governments. County government works and we want to help you tell your stories!

The Big Project - Our main focus for the show will be showcasing big, long-term and effective projects undertaken by county government. These can be projects that are on the drawing board and still in the planning stages, projects that are just getting started, long-term projects that are still in the works or projects that are nearing completion. Some of these will be told over a four-show arc, while others may require as many as 12 shows to tell their story. In many cases we will come back to re-visit the projects and check in on their progress and their completion.

We expect to begin production in the spring/summer of 2016. As you pitch your county stories, bear in mind that they should be either starting or underway at that time.

These projects will need to be large, visual and preferably outdoor projects and television ready that will unfold over time. On some level there must be conflict in getting these projects going. What’s most important to the producers is that the projects include some level of management and cooperation with citizens to get these projects moving forward. (For example; installing a new pension plan wouldn’t work because that is mostly done on a computer and indoors and wouldn’t have a big effect on all citizens. But building a new highway spur where the county would have to buy out reluctant, long-time homeowners would be a project worth considering.)

See the video

We have prepared a short sizzle reel that gives you a flavor of what the show is about and an idea of how the show will look. It runs just over 3 minutes and is available here: the password is ACL (all caps).
County Star - The show will make a “star” out of a county worker. We want our “county star” to be at the project manager level, that person who is out in the field interacting with the laborers, the supervisors, and with county executives and county managers, but also with county residents and citizens. Our cameras will follow our “county star” from their office to other county and government offices they interface with, county meetings, public hearings and out into the field. We want viewers to get to know them so our cameras will also follow them home and to places as varied as the local softball field where they play in a social league, the soccer team they may coach, the neighborhood park and maybe even follow them as they direct the county’s local annual school play. We want viewers to know them beyond the worksite and to get to know our “county star” and how they manage not only a project but to get a slice of life in their county.

Our viewers will root for our star and get excited not only about the county project they are managing, but also about their life and see how one county worker can affect the entire county structure. Viewers will see county government working at all levels through the eyes of one county worker who is managing one big county project but touching on so many more lives and county departments.

Characters Wanted - The producers also know that in nearly every county there is one person who everyone agrees should be the star of their own “sit-com.” “Across the County Line” is an opportunity to make a show like “Parks and Rec” come to life, real life. We want to find those people too. Those characters that everyone in the county knows, the person that gets the job done.  Let’s meet these exceptional county workers and see where their stories take us. They might be running a smaller project or may never leave their park office, but greet everyone that comes to them, either way, there is a spot for them in “Across the County Line.”

The other “county stars” we are looking for are the folks who do a job that is very unique to the county. Maybe they run the snow-making machines in a Rocky Mountains ski resort county, are a bison ranger in South Dakota, a mine inspector in West Virginia or a surf forecaster in Orange County, California. Let’s meet these county workers who do something special in their county that exists only in their county. These are the folks we want to meet and make a “county star.”

Of course there are details and logistics to be worked out with each story, and each story will present its own set of challenges, but the producers are committed to telling positive stories of America’s county governments in action. All these stories will be about successful county projects. We will control the content. County government works and “Across the County Line” will show viewers across the U.S.A. how well it works in a dramatic and entertaining fashion.

To include your county project and your county workers for consideration for “Across the County Line” please send a brief explanation of your county project, a short bio of the county manager who would be our “county star” and any other details important to the story. We will contact you as we move forward and discuss the best way to showcase your county story.

Thanks for your help in contributing to keeping American’s informed about the effectiveness of county government. We look forward to hearing from you.

David Martin -
Executive Producer
Across the County Line