Essential TV - Y Magazine
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Essential TV

It’s one part Oprah and one part Martha—minus the studio audience. Taking a page from talk-show TV’s script, BYU Broadcasting put its own spin on the daytime TV format in January with a new weekly series, Living Essentials.

Living Essentials, airing on BYUTV and KBYU-TV, is based on the provident-living emphasis of the Church of Jesus Christ.

“We’re looking to add to the understanding people have to create a balanced and enriched life,” says James P. Bell, ’77, BYUTV’s manager of marketing and public relations.

The first part of the series includes six 30-minute documentaries introducing viewers to six aspects of provident living: education and literacy, emergency preparedness, employment, physical health, resource management, and social and emotional strength.

For these shows, producers taped several real-life stories. The first, which covers emergency preparedness, follows members of the Church’s Manhattan 5th Ward after Sept. 11 and examines the changes they’ve made to their preparedness strategies since the incident.

“Our hope is that people can obtain practical, up-to-date information on how to apply each of the six subject areas,” says the producer of the series, Kendall P. Wilcox, ’96.

Emphasizing practicality and applicability, part two of the series will consist of 40–50 talk-show style episodes giving how-to advice on specific topics in the six areas. Host Rebecca Parker Cressman, ’88, will mediate a forum featuring local experts, including members of BYU’s faculty and administration.

Viewers will be taught about everything from canning to depression to financial planning. Says Wilcox, “It is a talk show, but an informational talk show. We want it to be very informational and educational.”