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Evanston’s Harvey Moshman returned to WTTW Channel 11 this past weekend with another season of “Wild Travels,” a six-episode series that celebrates the quirky side of America.
The Wild Travels team hopscotch the country, discovering a delightfully bizarre cross-section of the American landscape in every half-hour episode. The series appeals to adventurous travelers who have a desire to get off the beaten path, as well as more sedentary viewers satisfied to gaze at this country’s wild side from the comfort of their own couch.
This season, executive producer Harvey Moshman and host Will Clinger have found treasure in the cities, towns and back roads of the U.S., celebrating the off-kilter subcultures, the obsessive collectors and hobbyists, and the decidedly odd jobbers that make America such a crazy quilt of nonconformity.
In the 1990s, as a staff producer at WTTW, Mr. Moshman joined with Mr. Clinger to launch “Wild Chicago,” the late-night magazine series that featured a roving handheld camera, fast-paced editing, and an inquisitive host having fun with his interviewees. It ran for 14 years, and Mr. Moshman and Mr. Clinger together earned 16 Midwest Emmys and several prestigious national awards for their work on Wild Chicago and Wild Chronicles.
Wild Travels employs a similar style and promises for this season coverage of a calamity at the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Vermont, plus a visit to its flavor graveyard; wild trading at a sneaker convention; an incredible collection of 19th Century bug art – thousands and thousands of bugs arranged into portraits; a trip of the world’s first cog railway to the top of Mr. Washington, where the highest wind speeds on earth have been recorded; as a visit to the lovely mermaids at one of Florida’s oldest roadside attractions, Weeki Wachee Springs.
Since his Wild Chicago days, Mr. Moshman worked at CBS News and then produced a daily, nationally syndicated financial news program. After a 12-year hiatus, Mr. Moshman said he and Mr. Clinger “decided to get back in the saddle and do what we love.”
Those who missed the premier on July 10 and 11 will be able to catch the show throughout this week on Channel 11 and 11.2 WTTW Prime. The second episode will air on July 16 and 17.
This local rollout precedes national distribution to public television stations in 2017. Mr. Moshman and Mr. Clinger say Wild Travels offers “public television without all that dignity.”