Off the grid America: Discovery's two new series in Alaska and Appalachia

Poverty belts, toothless gritty folks and rugged terrain in the United States are the focus for Discovery's new slate of programming.

The ongoing love affair with ratings boon Alaska and now the Appalachian region are the locales and the sub-cultures that Discovery Channel has mined for "Moonshiners" and  "Mountain Men of Alaska" - both are working titles - giving viewers a peak into two of these worlds.  Both series will premiere this summer.

From Discovery

Moonshiners (wt), produced by Magilla Entertainment, follows a diverse group of people living in Appalachia who carry on a 200 year-old tradition passed down from their forefathers: making moonshine.  While this practice is surprisingly alive and well in this region, it’s not always legal. 

This series tells the story of those who brew their shine – whether in the woods behind their house using camouflaged equipment or legally in their garages for local distribution – and the local authorities who try to keep them honest.  The series show what life is like in the Appalachian Mountain region, a close-knit society where survival depends on resourcefulness and endurance.  From hunting bear and raccoon to catching frogs and catfish, theirs is a world forgotten by modern conveniences.

MOUNTAIN MEN OF ALASKA (wt), produced by Discovery Studios, introduces viewers to the Kilcher family and their community outside Homer, Alaska.  The Kilchers, lead by patriarch Atz Kilcher (singer Jewel’s father), have lived on their homestead for three generations.  These men and women of the wild live off the land, spending their summers gardening, hunting and fishing for food to get them through the harsh Alaskan winters.  Most live completely off the grid, with no running water and no electricity – and are proud of it.  The series also features homesteaders who live near the Kilchers, including “Brother Roadkill” who is not above eating animals lying dead on the side of the road.


Further Reading on M&C