Time Team America Debuts on PBS

The British hit TV series TIME TEAM, which plays on PBS on Monday nights has spawned an American franchise. TIME TEAM AMERICA debuts Wednesday, July 8 at 8 PM, ET on PBS. Yes it must be written all in caps, that’s how they are branding the name.

Much like the CSI type of experts who drive so much American prime-time TV drama, this group of specialists works ‘cases’ to probe mysteries in real time.

According to insiders this series has a much different feel than a typical PBS documentary. TIME TEAM AMERICA lets viewers eavesdrop on archaeologist who are grappling with the uncertainties of different excavation situations and testing different, and often conflicting theories. Here’s host Colin Campbell (left) and Chief Investigator Adrien Hannus (right).

Just like the hugely popular British series, the American clone follows a team of scholars who are mostly archaeologists, geologists, geophysicists and historians of course. These people will again race against time to unearth some of America’s most intriguing archaeological sites.

But its the race against time that I always found most contrived. Anybody who knows anything about time management and digging dumps and forgotten heritage sites trenches knows that the best stuff comes out of the hole at the end of the summer. It takes weeks to find proper goody veins and honey holes in any site, weeks to tell each site’s story. So it seems reckless to me to cut apart these old places and not do comprehensive digs.

Check out a sneak peak here: http://pressroom.pbs.org/documents/time_team_sizzle_doc

Preview the full premiere episode, “Fort Raleigh, North Carolina,” on the new PBS video portal at: http://pressroom.pbs.org/programs/time_team_america