For one year only, stripped across a week on BBC Two in October, Autumnwatch New England will see presenters Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Gillian Burke celebrate the natural phenomenon of the American Fall, as summer ends and billions of trees in the vast northeast forests simultaneously erupt in a riot of colour, painting the landscape gold and red.
With a mix of live ‘studio’ pieces from an authentic New England cabin studio on the shores of Squam Lake in New Hampshire, and seasonally shot VTs, each programme will bring the splendour of this colour explosion live into living rooms across the nation.
Strategically placed cameras throughout the forests, mountains and lakes of the Watches’ location in New Hampshire will capture amazing behaviour as key wildlife species prepare for the winter months.
The programme will also examine the science behind this amazing natural spectacle, revealing how temperature affects the leaf colour and how the changing environment triggers specific behaviour in the local wildlife.
The traditional culture that surrounds the New England Fall will also feature in the series, as Chris, Michaela and Gillian discover how this natural phenomenon has affected all aspects of culture and how ancient traditions are still being celebrated by the Native Americans.
Tom McDonald, BBC Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual, says: “I’m thrilled that Autumnwatch is moving to New England for this very special week of live programming. The team are heading to one of the most iconic locations in the USA to experience the great American ‘fall’ for what promises to be an unforgettable chapter in the Watches’ history.”
Julian Hector, Head of BBC Studios Natural History Unit, says: “Our world-class Autumnwatch team, together with the unique chemistry of Chris, Michaela and Gillian, will bring the spectacle of the great American fall and the autumn animal characters to BBC Two audiences in an incredibly fresh and memorable way.”
Bill Gardner, Vice President, Programming & Development, PBS says: “In Autumnwatch New England, audiences will experience exquisite outdoor adventures while surrounded by nature’s most picturesque imagery. The co-production partnership with BBC brings this American experience to television, and we look forward to presenting this ambitious live production together.”