Skift Take

Travel Channel is working hard to produce travel content that appeals to a broad potential audience with hopes of revitalizing its image as a go-to travel platform. Whether it's successful is still to be seen.

Travelers have never been more interested in learning about the culture and context of the cities that they visit. Travel Channel is hoping to tap into this interest with its newest series Time Traveling with Brian Unger.

Host and comedian Brian Unger explores the history of a destination as literally as possible. Computer-generated graphics are used to recreate what cities looked like in the past as Unger walks viewers through their evolution. The first episode airs Monday, April 20.

The goal is not to discuss how destinations can do a better job preserving their past but celebrate those that already are.

“It’s about getting the word out about destinations who are doing a good job maintaining their history,” says Unger.

“The question is how do we make it a compelling story and get people to connect to places? What are avenues in which we can reach new people to tell them the story of the Grand Canyon?”

That comes to down creating a human connection, most often through the stories of people who impacted the destination’s development.

“One of those is through, for instance, an unheralded woman named Mary Coultier who built all the structures and the ranches in the canyon,” Unger says.

Unger previously worked on The Daily Show and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and believes his comedic edge landed him the role.

“We have to make this fun or funny or the show will be your high school history teacher leading a lesson in front of the classroom,” he says.

“What people don’t know, what they think they know…it’s all good fodder for good comedy.”

Travel Channel is introducing a variety of new shows in an effort to revitalize its programming and attract new viewers. For example, Breaking Borders follows a journalist and chef into conflict zones and the acquired Slow TV concept will result in a 12-hour road trip aired in real time.


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Tags: history, travel channel, tv

Photo credit: Brian Unger is the host of Travel Channel's new series Time Traveling. The Travel Channel

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