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WTTW-TV To Premiere A New 6-Part Travel Show: 'Islands Without Cars'

Next month, WTTW-TV will debut a new weekly mini-series, entitled "Islands Without Cars." The six-episode travel program explores islands in the Western Hemisphere which forbid the use of any motorized vehicles.

While "Islands Without Cars" will be eventually a nationally-broadcast public television series, its roots are firmly in Chicago.

Chicago's WTTW National Productions supported the project. Along with American Public Television, it will distribute the series to public television stations across the country after its Chicago debut on WTTW-TV.

The series was conceived and co-produced by Chicagoan Melissa Sage Fadim. A native of Tecumseh, MI, who has long called Chicago home, Fadim has always loved Michigan's car-free Mackinac Island. That love helped inspire this new series.

Fadim said today: "Whenever I thought of an island without cars, an island steeped in the traditions of the past and out of step with modernity, I thought of Mackinac Island. And then I thought... I wonder if there are others. And as it turns out, there are. And each one is unique, amazing and colored by the people who make those places work -- for tourists, for their families and for posterity."

For this series, she collaborated with another Chicagoan, her friend, Terry Spencer Hesser, who served as co-producer, writer and director. Terry Spencer Hesser is a filmmaker, playwright, novelist, biographer, and a three-time local Emmy winner.

Yet another native Chicagoan, Kira Hesser, is the host and narrator for the series. The daughter of Terry Spencer Hesser currently lives in Los Angeles, CA, where she is an actress, stand-up comedian, improv artist, voiceover talent, and magazine contributing writer.

"Of all the programs I have produced in my life, this series has been far and away the most fun. It is a unique opportunity to explore what island life means to culture and what culture means to island life -- in beautifully preserved places off shore," said Terry Spencer Hesser. "Sitting on an island without cars and listening to nature, to laughter, and to the ocean is really an opportunity to listen to ourselves -- our inner voices which are often drowned out in the noise of modern life. Finally, it is a joy to be able to work with my best friend and my daughter to create these geographical and cultural profile gems."

Each episode of "Islands Without Cars" will be a 30-minute, light-hearted romp across a unique island. The titles of the six episode help explain which island is given the spotlight each week. The episodes are:
Episode 1: "Italy's Aeolian Islands"
Episode 2: "Croatia's Dalmatian Coast"
Episode 3: "The Channel Island of Sark"
Episode 4: "Ireland's Inis Meain"
Episode 5: "The Greek Island of Hydra"
Episode 6: "France's Isle of Porquerolles"

"Islands Without Cars" will premiere on WTTW-TV on Friday, September 5th at 8:30pm. Each Friday at that time over the following five weeks will be new episodes of the program.

The original working title of the program was the more mysterious sounding "Islands Lost In Time," before it was eventually changed to "Islands Without Cars."

More information about the new public broadcasting travel mini-series can be found on the show's website, IslandsWithoutCars.com.

"Islands Without Cars" video preview:

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