BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The fifth season of the locally produced outdoor lifestyle program Out Da' Bayou will air on the Discovery Channel on Saturday mornings, beginning January 6. The first four seasons have aired on local stations and the Sportsman Channel.
The show's creator, John Jackson, who is from Clinton, in East Feliciana Parish, has been producing the show since 2014. When Jackson initially hired his current operations manager, photographer, and sometimes co-star Robin Vucinovich, who is originally from Chalmette, she had no outdoors experience.
"We were shooting an alligator hunt, John took the camera off my shoulder and said, 'Let's see what ya got!' And I shot my first gator right there," Vucinovich said.
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Jackson worked in local television in the mid to early 1990s and then began producing several outdoor shows for other people. He says he got tired doing the same "one-dimensional" show where someone would catch a fish or shoot game. Instead, he thought the cameras were missing out on the human aspect of the outdoors, particularly the colorful characters of hunting and fishing guides. "The people who bring us out in the outdoors is the story," Jackson said.
Jackson and Vucinovich insist on creating a show that's anything but predictable. Shying away from the 'same old same old' opens "a lot of avenues" for content, Jackson says. The show takes the pair everywhere from fishing trips on the Gulf of Mexico to the south Louisiana swamps to organic cattle farms and everywhere in between.
The show also focuses on educating viewers on how to cook fish and wild game, as well as, where the food comes from. For example, in one episode in the upcoming season, Out Da' Bayou follows the lifecycle of the oyster and its impact on the marine ecosystem. In another upcoming episode, the crew takes a trip to a coffee farm in Mexico that supplies one of the show's sponsors, Community Coffee, and follows the coffee bean from farm to store shelf.
Out Da' Bayou is mainly filmed and produced by Jackson and Vucinovich. Occasionally they get help from freelancer photographers but it's usually a very limited crew in the field, which is why Jackson said one upcoming episode will show a behind the scenes look at how the show is produced.
Jackson says this is actually the third instance the Discovery Channel has approached him to pick up Out Da' Bayou. He said the third time was the charm because it worked out best for both parties. The network and Jackson are able to split the commercial time and he is able to retain rights to the show. He also explained that this deal was best because he gets to keep honoring the local sponsors who have supported the show since the beginning.
As of right now, the network has picked up the show for one season and if picked up for a second it will be on a season-by-season basis.The show airs Saturday mornings on Discovery Channel at 6:30 a.m. For viewers who don't get up that early, it will be re-aired on Destination America and will be available for streaming on Amazon Prime.
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