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Shore Things
Shore Things looks at some of the things that make hanging out at the beach so enticing to people of all ages.


PITTSBURGH – Seafood. Sand castles. Salt water taffy. They’re all wonderful, quirky reasons why we love the beach. They’re shore things. And Shore Things is a new “scrapbook documentary” full of lifeguards, boardwalks, horseshoe crabs and rental umbrellas. The show looks at some of the things that make hanging out at the beach so enticing to people of all ages. The one-hour documentary by WQED Pittsburgh’s award-winning producer Rick Sebak airs on public television stations nationwide this summer (check local listings). It’s the height of vacation season, and lots of people are thinking of heading to the beach. If you can’t get away for a week, you should sneak off for an hour to enjoy Shore Things.

Shore Things takes a bright and sunny look at America’s vacation-at-the-beach culture. The show features beautiful beaches up and down the East and West Coasts (and even a family picnic in Hawaii). At various shores, people enjoy beach activities like lying in the sun, bouncing in the surf, scanning the sand with a metal detector and sometimes just walking along the water.

It’s not just the sand and ocean that attract people. It’s the giant elephant building in Margate, New Jersey, that’s been attracting visitors since 1881. It’s the relaxing ferry ride to Nantucket, Massachusetts. It’s family games on the sand at Rehoboth, Delaware. In Hawaii, a local family grills chicken and fish beside the ocean to celebrate Grandma’s birthday. On the boardwalk in Venice, California, street performers, roller skaters, cyclists and body builders come to see and be seen. And of course, fishing is a popular pastime, especially on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, where people find lots of places to cast their lines.

Using his trademark “scrapbook documentary” style, Rick presents a mixture of wacky historical facts, beach people and slightly sunburn observations of America’s infatuation with sand, surf and sun. He packs up some old movies, throws in a couple snapshots and takes us all to the beach for some fresh, new footage.

In the summer of 1995, while testing the water for Shore Things, Rick was also getting the scoop on America’s favorite frozen dessert – ice cream! An Ice Cream Show aired in late May 1996 and received a 3.7 rating across the nation, making it the second-highest rated program on PBS in May. USA Today recommended it as “a delicious travelogue, light in touch and flavorful in detail.” “An Ice Cream Show is the perfect pick-me-up,” TV Guide said, “It’s a tasty documentary that dishes out interesting people, places, and things associated with the frozen treat.”

Rick has also done a number of “scrapbook documentaries” as part of WQED’s award-winning Pittsburgh History Series. He won a Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Award for Stuff That’s Gone, a tribute to buildings and structures that were once loved by Pittsburghers and are missed dearly. Rick’s many other Pittsburgh history specials have been imitated by stations across the country.

Shore Things is a production of WQED Pittsburgh. Funding for this program was made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Public Broadcasting Service and public television viewers. Producer/Writer/Narrator is Rick Sebak; Associate Producer is Nancy Jean Coates; Editors are Kevin Conrad and Dickran Manoogian; Cameraman is Allen Rosen; Executive Director of Media, Distribution and Production is Carolyn Wean.

It’s “shore” to be a program that lots of people will be talking about. Perfect summertime TV: Shore Things.

WQED Pittsburgh, honored with the 2007 and 2006 Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Award for Station Excellence, was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster. WQED creates, produces and distributes quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within its community and around the world. WQED Pittsburgh is one of the first broadcasters in the country to be fully high-definition (HD) in its studio and field production capabilities. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED: The Create Channel; WQEX-TV (A ShopNBC affiliate); WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; a publishing division that includes PITTSBURGH MAGAZINE; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org); and The WQED Education Department.

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Tag(s): National program, Rick Sebak, Travel



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