New National Television Show Spotlights Books and Authors
"Open Book," a new national television and multimedia program, will premiere May 13 on LinkTV. The half-hour weekly television program about books and writers—which will be hosted by book publicist and editor Ina Howard-Parker, who also created the show—will focus on contemporary and historical literary production in a different location each week.
The pilot will premiere nationally on LinkTV (DirectTV channel 375, Dish Network channel 9014) on May 13 at 11:30 p.m. and will feature writers, including Ishmael Beah and Moustafa Bayoumi, and other artists, such as actor Jeffrey Wright, currently living and working in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn. The non-writers will read from authors including former Ft. Greene residents Walt Whitman, Richard Wright and Henry Miller.
A sneak preview of the premiere will broadcast on May 11 at 8:30 p.m. EST on LinkTV as well as on New York City's Time Warner Cable channel 34 at 11 p.m.
Every episode of "Open Book" is shot entirely on location. "We're really creating short films—combining readings, performances and interviews—in order to create a moving portrait of each artist in the place they live and work while pushing boundaries as filmmakers and artists ourselves," says Director Diane Paragas.
In addition to the weekly half-hour broadcast, each guest's segment from "Open Book" will be released as an independent short film online through blogs, Web sites and social media. Each of the shorts will be embedded with links to additional information about the featured guest and location, as well as to opportunities to buy their work, see them in person, or otherwise engage with the material.
"Our aim is to help writers and publishers reach diverse and diffuse audiences through the media they're already consuming, and then to bring them back to books," says Howard-Parker. "In the new media landscape, the richness and excitement of books needs to translate to a wider range of media, whether television, iPhone downloads or Facebook pages. Even for non-readers, 'Open Book' stands alone as enjoyable, visually and emotionally compelling storytelling."