City set for national TV debut

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 29, 2005

When the new ABC-TV reality game show &uot;My Kind of Town&uot; premieres at 8 p.m. this Sunday, it will have a distinctly local flavor.

After all, its audience and contestants will all be Greenville folks.

In spite of being the second show taped for the new series, the Greenville episode, taped on July 30 in NYC, was selected to be the show’s premiere. Greenville bumped the Bordentown, N.J. episode out of the front running.

A production crew spent nearly two weeks in Greenville prior to the show’s NYC taping, preparing segments showcasing some of the city’s sights and citizens for this Sunday night’s production.

Needless to say, having nearly 200 locals travel to the Big Apple to be featured in a major broadcast network show has been the talk of the town – and the county.

Tim Hattaway, a fourth grade teacher at Greenville Elementary School, started the school year off sharing the good news with his students.

&uot;I told them they just happen to have a teacher who is also going to be a TV star,&uot; he laughed.

Hattaway explained to the children he would be part of the MKOT audience and encouraged his students to watch the show on Sunday night.

&uot;I’m really pleased the producers decided to go with us as the premiere episode. Everyone [on the production staff] kept telling us what a great town and great audience we were, and it’s good to see they meant it,&uot; Hattaway said.

The experience of being part of a studio audience was &uot;very interesting,&uot; the elementary teacher said.

&uot;I’d never been to the taping of a show before this. Being able to see what all went on behind the scenes was really fun,&uot; Hattaway said.

He says he was surprised at how much energy and effort it took to be a MKOT audience member.

&uot;I was like a lot of other people I talked to, worn out when we got done. I was hoarse, my hands hurt – there is definitely a lot more to it than just sitting there,&uot; Hattaway said.

ABC TV’s Web site features information about Greenville, including the fact it was voted &uot;Best Small Town in America&uot; by ePodunk.com.

&uot;Like everybody else, I was somewhat concerned initially, but I really believe that overall this is going to be a positive experience for Greenville,&uot; Hattaway said.

Greenvillians have already been popping on TV screens.

Bob Glasscock of Butler Services, along with several other MKOT participants, has been featured in promos running this week on WNCF, ABC TV’s local affiliate.

Additionally, WNCF has featured spots taped by staff members who were part of the NYC trip during its 10 p.m. news spots.

The network has also featured clips from the Greenville episode during prime time hours, touting the show’s premiere this Sunday night.

Glasscock said he is &uot;very excited&uot; about Sunday night.

&uot;I have been visiting a Yahoo group that has been set up for ‘My Kind of Town’ and several people from different towns have left comments – it’s pretty interesting,&uot; he said.

Glasscock believes the Greenville episode will show the nation the Camellia City &uot;has a lot going for it.&uot;

Hattaway agrees.

&uot;I hope this will lead to Greenville being chosen for other projects, maybe movie locations, for example. Maybe this will lead to bigger and better things,&uot; Hattaway said.

Glasscock is sure viewers will be impressed by what they see.

&uot;This is a great place to live. All I have to say is, watch the show,&uot; Glasscock said.

The Greenville episode of &uot;My Kind of Town&uot; airs this Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC-TV (Channel 9 on Greenville area cable).