It is something a lot of us do when a friend from out of town visits Chicago. We take them to see all of the city’s famous landmarks and exciting sights. But if they are a really good friend, we might give them something extra…a personal glimpse of our own favorite places in the city. Often, these tours are the best of all.
That’s the concept behind MY CHICAGO, a new half‐hour local series from the producers of Check, Please! and WTTW Chicago. MY CHICAGO is a “talk show on wheels” in which alternating hosts Odette Yousef and Mark Bazer interview three famous, notable, or simply interesting Chicagoans or “Chicagophiles” who tell us about their life in the city. Through the guests, we’ll see the neighborhoods where they grew up, the places they work (or worked), or other locations that have had significant meaning for them. (If you would like to nominate yourself someone you know who has a great place to take us, apply using our online nomination form!)
“Building on the success of Check, Please!, we wanted to explore Chicago in an entirely different but equally meaningful way,” says producer David Manilow. “We think viewers will enjoy experiencing our vibrant city from the unique perspective of a group of Chicago natives, residents, and frequent visitors who love it as much as we do,” he added.
Each edition of MY CHICAGO contains three stand‐alone segments, each with a guest giving a separate tour. Our guests may be a celebrity or a CEO, a poet or a politician, an architect or an activist. Our “mobile set” is rigged with three cameras, and our hosts are inquisitive, fun, funny, and smart. Authentic, unrehearsed conversation takes place as we take a fun, lively journey into Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods, where our hosts and guests get out of the MY CHICAGO vehicle, and the audience gets a personal, behind‐the‐scenes tour of their selected memorable location.
Guests are currently being sought! Anyone comfortable being interviewed on camera who wants to make a case for a personally meaningful Chicago location can check out our online application process at wttw.com/mychicago.
ABOUT THE HOSTS
Mark Bazer is the host/creator of The Interview Show, a live talk show held monthly at The Hideout in Chicago, and occasionally at Union Hall in Brooklyn. The show, which aims to bridge the gap between late‐night talk shows and serious‐minded interview programs, has featured such guests as Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, novelist Gillian Flynn, novelist and vlogger John Green, comedian Hannibal Buress, and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Mark is also a writer, whose work has appeared in Chicago magazine, the Chicago Reader, the Chicago Tribune, and other publications that don’t begin with the word Chicago. He spends his days as editorial director on Leo Burnett’s Growth Team.
Odette Yousef is a public radio journalist for WBEZ 91.5FM, Chicago’s NPR affiliate. From the station’s community bureau on Devon Avenue, she covers stories about the people and places in the city’s far North Side neighborhoods. Prior to arriving in Chicago in 2010, Odette worked at public radio outlets in Atlanta and Washington, DC. She has a B.A. in Economics and East Asian Studies from Harvard University, and hails originally from suburban Boston.
MY CHICAGO is an excursion you’ll definitely want to take. Look for it on WTTW beginning in April 2014.
WTTW is the Midwest’s premier public media organization, committed to creating and presenting unique television and digital media content. WTTW is dedicated to bringing Chicago and the world together to explore the arts, sciences, humanities, and public affairs across four distinct television channels – WTTW11, WTTW Prime, the Spanish‐language channel WTTW V‐me, and WTTW Create/WTTW WORLD, and on wttw.com, where visitors can connect with others in the community and access a full library of local and national video content for kids and adults, interactive features, event and membership opportunities, and robust microsites and blogs dedicated to WTTW series and specials. Each week, WTTW reaches an audience of 1.8 million over a four‐state area, making it one of the most watched public television stations in America.