FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau
Mary Beth Romig
New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau
“Forever New Orleans” TV Show Now Airing in 51 Countries to 119 Million Homes
New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau’s mainstream TV program to educate and entice international audiences to visit New Orleans now airing in Europe, Middle East and North Africa
NEW ORLEANS – Oct. 15, 2007 – The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), in partnership with Pet Bird Entertainment, LLC, is thrilled to announce that its mainstream travel TV show, “Forever New Orleans” is now on the air in primetime, reaching 119 million homes in 51 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
“Forever New Orleans,” created and hosted by Emmy award-winning journalist Karen Carlson, showcases our culture, restaurants, attractions, accommodations and most of all, the spirit and resilience of New Orleanians. It highlights the city’s rich history and eclectic nature, dispels myths about the visitor experience post-Katrina and provides an immediate call to action for visitors via sweepstakes for free trips. To see a preview * of the show, click here.
Episodes include family-friendly activities, our rich French culture and a historic French Quarter tour.
Distributed through GlobalCastmedia, Inc.’s COOLtv, the English-language channel reaching New Orleans’s largest international visitor markets such as France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland, “Forever New Orleans” debuted Sept. 28, 2007. The show will air weekly through the end of the year.
“With New Orleans still the target of so much negative media attention, we believe there is no more powerful tool to positively portray New Orleans culture than having this show on the air” said Stephen Perry, president and CEO of the New Orleans CVB. “Now, millions of viewers around the world have a glimpse each week of New Orleans rich, authentic culture and can see for themselves why they should return to experience one of the world’s most popular destinations.”
Carlson, a former New Orleans television news anchor, developed the idea for the show after covering Hurricane Katrina as a reporter at the ABC station in Los Angeles. She joined forces with the CVB in 2007 to make the show a reality in partnership with her entertainment company, Pet Bird Entertainment, LLC. Forever New Orleans TV’s production team has won over 60 combined Emmy Awards. The newest addition to the team is John Sharify, the winner of the National Edward R Murrow award for writing.
“I knew after covering the storm I wanted to do something to help out my adopted hometown,” Carlson said. “I can’t build a house, I don’t know how to write a government grant, but I do know how to do TV, so it just seemed like a perfect fit.”
* Show previews in BETA or PAL format available upon request.
Originally named “A Whole New Orleans” the show was renamed “Forever New Orleans TV” to match the CVB’s 2007 marketing, advertising and public relations campaign of the same name. Forever New Orleans was created to celebrate New Orleans’ authentic culture, lure domestic and international visitors back, preserve the city’s leading industry (hospitality) and overcome misperceptions about the city among consumers.
“Forever New Orleans” Episode Synopses
EPISODE 1: “La Nouvelle Orleans” Guest Host: Jennifer Huntley
They may not pronounce the names of streets the same way, but France and New Orleans have a special relationship that neither time nor storm could tear apart. After Katrina, France focused on helping their long-distance relative through fundraising and donations of art exhibits. There’s a French restaurant that has a tale of two trees: one that crashed through it during the hurricane, and another one resting comfortably inside. We visit a very French hotel as it tells a story about the crown, and later, stop by a refuge made for Napoleon during his exile. And though it bears its name, find out why the “French Quarter” really isn’t French at all.
EPISODE 2: “Streetcar Named Desire”
The streetcar was damaged heavily during the storm, but it’s making a comeback, one track at a time! Explore a hotel that masquerades as a bar during the night, but which features original furnishings from the old days of the South. Go to a New Orleans tradition for the coldest ice cream in the city, and don’t forget to stop by an award-winning chef at a restaurant right alongside the tracks. It’s tourism via trolley (streetcar, in New Orleans!) on Forever New Orleans!
EPISODE 3: “Ages 3 & Up”
It’s not always about the cocktails and wild times in New Orleans. It’s also a family friendly place where animals swim around you at one of the most beautiful aquariums in the country. The swans, which left after Katrina, are now back at City Park, where a stop at a sandwich shop gives a perfect picnic surrounded by sculptures. And do we take the riverboat to the zoo? Or feature the Children’s Museum? You can only find out by watching!
EPISODE 4: “Arts In Motion”
Walking down the street has never been so artistic as it is on one street, where art is a moving landscape filled with onlookers. There are artists who teach classes anyone can sign up for, and one man in particular who helped bring back hope to a city in need. Not every restaurant is as cool as one we found that hangs only original artwork. And in this show, you’ll see a hotel that’s as fashionable as it is artistic. And really, you don’t have to look far for a look at art unique to the city.. just venture a block off Party Central and you’ll find a whole other world. Not too far from there, Southern Art that’s well worth sitting down for. It’s art for the sake of art, in every budget and every corner you look.
EPISODE 5: “Voluntourism”
The hurricane may have brought a lot of destruction to the gulf coast, but it has also brought a groundswell of kindness from all over the country and all over the world. We introduce you to a hotel chain that offers discounts for “voluntourists”… those who spend their hard-earned time off to donate their efforts to rebuild the city. It’s a location that is tough to get during Mardi Gras ... in fact, it’s so far booked in advance, you’re more likely to catch a set of beads tossed down from a balcony than you are to catch a reservation during the prime tourist season! There’s a restaurant that offered food to volunteers after the storm, which is known for its wall… and it’s not one you’ll want to ignore. Those who’ve never volunteered before wondering why people would give their sweat equity up free without getting pay in return. Some might call these folks morons. But to those who do it, they would rather be called the “Mow-rons.” We’ll explain this and share an expanding exhibit from some of the greatest volunteers in our century, on this edition of Forever New Orleans!
EPISODE 6: “Sportsman’s Paradise”
You wouldn’t know it was so close to the city, but a natural oasis exists within an hour’s drive of New Orleans. When you turn your cell phone off, your peace of mind will turn on automatically. You won’t be listening to the roar of a freeway but instead, the serene song of birds. It’s a paradise for everything from fishing to relaxing amidst a bourgeoning ecosystem. It’s an experience not found in L.A. or New York, where the endangered hang out, and where you can learn about history through the eyes of Mother Nature herself.
EPISODE 7: “Guys & Dolls” Celebrity Chef: John Besh
Men and women don’t always want to do the same things while on vacation. But there’s no need to take separate vacations in another city. You can do that right here in New Orleans! Our featured couple checks into a fabulous hotel, and while the man takes his turn at the TPC golf course, the woman hits the streets for some unique shopping at some of the many beautiful antique boutiques in the city. At night, get a fine dining lesson from red-hot chef John Besh at his steakhouse. And then to finish off a fabulous weekend, a Sunday Jazz Brunch.
EPISODE 8: “Sugar & Spice” Guest Host: Chef Paul Prudomme
Spice is the flavor of life… and in this case, it’s sweet, too. A brand new one-of-a-kind confectionary creates chocolates with New Orleans flavors, including a Bananas Foster chocolate, even a dark chocolate with Vietnamese spices! The store was created by a graduate of Commanders Palace and was three years in the making. We eat and cook with Chef Paul Prudhomme – the man who essentially created the demand for Cajun spices worldwide. And if you’re looking for a hot night out, we have the spot for you where the players play. When it’s time for bed, we have our choice of pillows at a fantastic hotel spicy with modern style.
EPISODE 9: “Back In Time”
It is a southern mansion made famous by the movies shot there. Perhaps it was during his filming of Interview With The Vampire when Brad Pitt fell in love with this part of the country, but no matter how you look at it, this plantation takes you back in time. No cell phones, please, but we will show you cottages that’ll take you back, not to mention stories of ladies who, perhaps even by mistake, were allowed to get drunker than the men! We take you on one of the only steam paddle boats left in the world. It’s a great experience that balances you between this century and the last. And if it’s spooking you’re interested in, the Haunted History Tour is enough to make you glad to be a part of the 21st century!
EPISODE 10: “If It Crawls, You Can Eat It!”
It may not always be crawfish season in New Orleans, but there’s always something fun to eat here. We’ll take you to the new version of a restaurant famous for a “crawfish conveyor belt” completely destroyed by the storm, yet making a comeback in another part of the city. And you know what? The owners of this popular shrimp and crawfish eatery are chomping at the bit (or the bait?) to move back to their former location on Lake Pontchartrain. And just across the lake is a place known for catfish and a lot to look at on the walls! Even if you’re not crazy for seafood, you’d be crazy not to visit just for all the fun stuff you can look at.
EPISODE 11: “Music In The Air” Guest Host: Mark DeCarlo, Travel Channel
New Orleans has the rare distinction of being the birthplace of Jazz, but also as a cultural hub of musical expression in every form. One hotel sings with beauty and design (not to mention a fabulous spa), and a world-class restaurant gives us a brunch worth waiting for (and listening to!). It’s a city that revolves around the music scene, and we have the harmonica to prove it!
EPISODE 12: Generations
For most people, a visit to the Crescent City is actually a visit back in time. There are restaurants here that have been in the same family for generations, in addition to families who have worked to expand post-storm with new venues to experience, new drinks to taste, but yes, the same wavy lanes at a popular bowling alley! It’s a family affair when you visit, and you’ll find the hospitality here makes you feel like you’re a long lost member of a very large family.
EPISODE 13: La Vida Loca
The Latin influence in New Orleans has been going on for centuries. Most people wouldn’t know that the French Quarter should probably be named the “Spanish Quarter,” if you’re talking specifically about architecture! Latin music is hotter than ever at a new bar that’s newly opened. And if you like variety, then you’ll love this Spanish-style restaurant. It’s very fun, very “varied”... and very, New Orleans!
PET BIRD ENTERTAINMENT, LLC (www.petbirdent.com) is a high-definition production company based out of New Orleans, Louisiana with offices in Los Angeles and Dallas. PBE works with a variety of award-winning journalists, writers, hosts, producers and technical talent to produce television worthy of watching. Because the way we see it, life’s too short to be insulted by your TV.
The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau (New Orleans CVB) (www.neworleanscvb.com) is the driving force behind New Orleans' most important industry, tourism. Today the cultural riches, sensual indulgences and unparalleled service that define the New Orleans experience continue to flourish, as they have for centuries. The most celebrated and historic core of the city - including the French Quarter, Central Business District, Warehouse and Arts District, Magazine Street and Garden District - not only remains intact, both physically and spiritually, but is thriving. The New Orleans CVB is proudly welcoming visitors and business travelers every day.
Created in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism and the Louisiana Recovery Authority.
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