‘Wisconsin Life’ returns with all-new episodes Oct. 6 — read a Q&A!

September 26, 2022 Ian Lewitz Leave a Comment

An all-new season of inspiring stories from Wisconsin Life returns this fall! We caught up with series producer Kelly Saran to get an inside look at the new season and hear her reflections on the show over the last nine seasons.

Watch the all-new season premiere, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6 on PBS Wisconsin. You can also watch the season premiere on pbswisconsin.org and in the free PBS Video App on Roku, Apple TV, Smart TVs and everywhere you watch TV.

PBS Wisconsin: How’s the new season shaping up?

Kelly Saran: The season’s looking good! We have an exciting set of new stories from Angela going out in the field and meeting with people, and our Wisconsin Life producers have been actively busy producing segments that are really exciting.

PBS Wisconsin: What new places has Angela visited that you’re excited to share?

Saran: I’m excited about sharing Angela’s visit with the Miracle League of Fox Valley. The organization pairs volunteers with kids with disabilities and together they play baseball on the Miracle League field, which is kind of an adaptable field.

Angela interviewed a coach and his son who’ve been on the team for a number of years, and just to see the excitement on the kids’ faces — and the joy — is special. Everybody gets to bat. Everybody gets to run and everybody gets to get a run at home base. It’s sweet and fun, and I think that’s the heart and soul of what Wisconsin Life is.

Behind-the-scenes photo of the new season of Wisconsin Life.

PBS Wisconsin: What are some of your favorite segment stories from the upcoming season?

Saran: I think we have a lot of fun stories this year. One that comes to mind is a piece on an artist who uses insects to create installations in galleries. So, from afar, you’re thinking, “Oh, that’s a geometric pattern,” but up close, you’re noticing that it’s like hundreds of cicadas pinned in different locations. She uses that to raise awareness of the declining bug population.

PBS Wisconsin: Wisconsin Life is in its ninth season, fourth with a host. What do you think it is about the show that keeps audiences captivated?

Saran: We never run out of stories, and we never run out of opportunities to meet people who are doing incredible things around the state. I think that’s what really drives people to continue watching this show. Wisconsin continually surprises us. The opportunities that people give us and how they welcome us into their homes in an intimate way, I think makes our show really special. We have fun with it too and we have a skilled set of producers who like to tell stories in different ways that I think makes each story unique. As Angela’s joined in, she’s been a really bright light in the project, too.

Host Angela Fitzgerald curling in the new season of Wisconsin Life.

PBS Wisconsin: Do you have a dream segment you’ve wanted to produce for Wisconsin Life?

Saran: The idea to do a cultural festival has been on my mind for a while. We were able to join the Hmong Wausau Festival this year, which was fun. Festivals are so big in Wisconsin, and I really wanted to get Angela in that space to experience it in a new way. It’s been on my radar for a couple of years, but this year the festival was really big. They had a lot of dancers, a lot of programming, and being in that space was fun.

PBS Wisconsin: What are your hopes for the future of Wisconsin Life?

Saran: I would love to see more people reach out to us wanting to share their stories. I want us to build relationships around the state so that people, when you mention Wisconsin Life, they’re like, “Oh, yes, I know that program. I love that program, and I was a part of that program.” We want to be a well-known name around Wisconsin and a trusted source to tell your stories.

To get in contact with the Wisconsin Life team and share your story and ideas, send an email to [email protected].


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *