Geoff Edgers, an arts reporter for the Boston Globe, is risking his life -- or at least, the well-being of some vital muscles and ligaments -- to entertain America with a new show debuting Tuesday at 9 on the Travel Channel. Edgers, who wrote about arts for The News & Observer from 1996 to 2002, is the star of "Edge of America," a travelogue that combines the healthy spirit of American adventure with Edgers' love of quirky, off-beat people and places.
It premieres with back-to-back new episodes on Tuesday, January 22, at 9 p.m. Here's our review.
You may also recognize Edgers from his documentary about his quest to reunite The Kinks rock band called "Do It Again," which played at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham in 2010.
I talked to Edgers via telephone recently, while he was in the middle of filming an upcoming "Edge of America" episode, for which he climbed a 125-foot wall of ice in Ouray, Colorado. Edgers conducted the interview while following his crew up a steep hill in freezing temps.
Q: So what's the path from Boston arts reporter to Travel Channel daredevil?
EDGERS: I made the Kinks movie and a friend of mine who happens to be a Travel Channel executive liked it and he showed a short clip to some of his colleagues at Travel. They asked me to explore ideas with the production company, and we settled on the idea for this show. We filmed one pilot, which is the Oklahoma episode, in April, and they liked that so they said they'd buy six more. And they liked another one and they bought seven more, so suddenly we became a TV show. It's really just sort of about being in the right place at the right time, having that crazy Kinks movie and our having a good, creative meeting of the minds, you know? It's a very unlikely thing. I mean, it's not often that someone who's 42 years old ends up with a TV show kinda out of nowhere. Usually it's people who've been desperately trying to do this for years.