Monday, January 22nd, 2018

‘Two for the Road’ gets Emmy nominations

A Howardwick couple is riding high after picking up three Lone Star Emmy nominations for their self-produced television series, “Two for the Road.”

Dusty and Nikki Green got the news September 29 while filming an episode in the Big Bend area of Texas. They knew the regional Emmy nominations were going to be announced and were hopeful that they might be recognized, but spotty internet service in sparsely populated area was keeping them on edge. Then the emails from the Lone Star Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences started hitting their phones.

Dusty and Nikki Green take a selfie while filming a future episode of their Lone Star Emmy nominated series “Two for the Road” in the Big Bend area. Photo by Dusty Green

“We were just really blown away,” Dusty said.

“Two for the Road” follows the real-life adventures of the couple who made the decision in 2007 to quit their jobs, sell their possessions, and follow their dreams of a life of travel. The Greens themselves host, produce, edit and market the show, which is produced out of their home in Howardwick.

“It’s an incredible honor,” said Dusty. “To be recognized by academy members in this way, to be nominated at all especially for our very first season, is an extremely humbling and exciting surprise. We’re just thrilled.”
The awards will be presented at the 15th Annual Lone Star Emmy Awards ceremony November 11th at the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio.

Ten years ago, the Greens started a simple blog – an online journal – called “Two for the Road” when they gave up their careers in Amarillo and started a grand adventure of traveling the globe. What began as a whim evolved into a web video series then a regional PBS television show and is now going nationwide.

Today, “Two for the Road” is available in 90 percent of America through PBS stations and the addition of the Create network in August. Combined, the show is available in about 100 million households, Dusty said.

“It’s crazy,” said Nikki. “We started the ‘Two for the Road’ travel blog when we hit the road back in 2007, really just to keep friends and family up to date on where we were and what we were doing. We’d write posts for the blog and share photos and create short videos about our travels. And over the years the blog sort of evolved into this idea for a TV show.”

The Greens took that idea – and a few episodes they produced themselves “on spec” – to Panhandle PBS, their local public television station in Amarillo, Texas, with the hopes of landing a spot on the station’s schedule. Panhandle PBS agreed not only to air the show locally, but to serve as the show’s presenting station to help promote Two for the Road to PBS stations across the country.

“Panhandle PBS was the first station to air ‘Two for the Road,’” said Kyle Arrant, Director of Station Operations and one the show’s original technical advisors. “It’s been awesome to see ‘Two for the Road’ launch onto the national scene. We love working with Nikki and Dusty and are really honored to be part of the history of the exciting series they continue to develop.”

“Panhandle PBS is proud to be partners with Dusty and Nikki Green,” said Kevin Ball, CEO of Panhandle PBS. “Their chemistry and adventurist personalities are exactly what public television media audiences want to experience. We are so proud to be part of the energy they create as they bring their experiences to all throughout the country”.

And bringing those experiences to viewers around the country is exactly what the Greens are now doing. Soon after its debut on Panhandle PBS, ‘Two for the Road” was accepted for national distribution throughout the public television system by the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA), which is the country’s second-largest distributor of independent public television programs. And in August 2017 the show was picked up by the Create TV channel, a national subchannel of PBS, which rocketed “Two for the Road” onto the national stage.

“‘Two for the Road’ has been a welcome addition to Create TV’s schedule since its premiere in August,” said Chris Funkhouser, VP of Exchange Programming and Multicast Services for American Public Television. “The series’ concept – a married couple embarking on worldwide adventures together – has resonated with Create viewers and is unique among our travel shows. We’re pleased to have it as part of the channel’s line-up and look forward to seeing more seasons.”

“It’s been an unbelievable amount of work,” Dusty said, “traveling, shooting and producing the show and getting it out there. But it’s incredibly gratifying to know not only that the show is growing so quickly, but also the response from people – from the viewing public – has been absolutely amazing.

“So many people across the country are connecting with the show, with our stories, and with us as just regular people following a dream. Everyone’s been so supportive, and we just keep getting amazing feedback from folks in every part of the country.”

And Nikki says being nominated for three Emmy awards is nothing short of a dream come true.

“We were really hopeful we’d get a nomination of course, but being our very first season – realistically, we honestly just didn’t expect it,” she said. “Especially when you think about all the amazing shows out there and all the super talented people behind them. So to get not just one, but three nominations, was beyond our wildest expectations.”

The Greens say they are planning to attend the awards ceremony in San Antonio in November, and are currently in the process of completing production on season two of “Two for the Road,” which will premiere on public television stations nationwide in January, and on Create TV in the following months.

“Season one was kind of our training season,” said Dusty. “We had eight episodes in season one, and we used them to really try to find our groove and figure out how exactly to make the show work with just the two of us doing it all. But I think we’ve really found our groove now with season two. It’ll be a full season of thirteen episodes, and it’s incredible stuff. We can’t wait to get it out there.”

In those upcoming thirteen episodes, Nikki says the Greens will highlight eight countries on four continents and include some of the world’s most spectacular destinations. But it’s not just the destinations themselves that continue to inspire them.

“If our travels have shown us anything, it’s that the world is a beautiful, beautiful place full of really, really great people,” Nikki said. “You see and hear so many negative things about the world these days, and we hope to show people through our travels and experiences that the world really is a wonderful place.”

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