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Rick Sebak, Producer/Writer/Narrator for WQED Multimedia Pittsburgh, Creates Unusual TV Programs

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Rick Sebak has been making unusual, celebratory television programs for more than twenty years now. His slightly wacky documentaries consider various aspects of modern American life and the unexpected charms of Pittsburgh. Audiences have learned to recognize his friendly narrative style and the quirky topics that he obviously loves.

He is working now on a national documentary titled TO MARKET TO MARKET TO BUY A FAT PIG, considering market houses, market places and farmers' markets across the country. This new program is expected to premiere on PBS in the Spring or Summer of 2007.) His recent Pittsburgh program called WHAT MAKES PITTSBURGH PITTSBURGH? (including hills, rivers, bakeries, Red Ribbon pop and lots of Steeler fans) will also begin airing on public TV stations across the country in May 2007. It premiered in Pittsburgh as part of WQED's March Pledge Drive in 2006.

Rick has also recently shown the country A CEMETERY SPECIAL on PBS in the Fall of 2005, and IT'S THE NEIGHBORHOODS which premiered in Pittsburgh in December 2004 with national distribution and airings in 2005.

He's done an hour about hot dogs and hot dog shops across the United States. Another hour on flea markets. Ninety minutes about Pittsburgh's great commercial neighborhood called the Strip. You can catch can his "Sandwiches That You Will Like" and "A Program About Unusual Buildings & Other Roadside Stuff" on public television or on DVD. He's put together programs about pre-Disney amusement parks, really good ice cream places, "Stuff That's Gone" in western Pennsylvania, and, in a special called "Shore Things," he documented some of the non-environmental reasons why people like to go to the beach.

Rick's programs may make you want to travel. The New York Daily News has said, "Rick Sebak is not a filmmaker. He's a brainwasher. He's a brainwasher because you can't watch one of his effervescent films without having a very strong urge to follow in his footsteps and experience firsthand the places he presents so compellingly."

He has put together nineteen individual special programs that make up what is called the Pittsburgh History Series, including a very popular 1988 program titled "Kennywood Memories" about the wonderful old amusement park near Pittsburgh, a show called "Pittsburgh A To Z," one titled "North Side Story," and a much imitated documentary titled "Things That Aren't There Anymore."

After his statewide special on "Pennsylvania Diners And Other Roadside Restaurants" aired on PBS stations across the country in 1994, earning good ratings without any significant promotional campaign, Rick began making national documentaries for PBS including "An Ice Cream Show," "Great Old Amusement Parks," and "A Flea Market Documentary."

He has a way of quickly capturing the essence of a place and its people. His documentary "Sandwiches That You Will Like" delighted viewers, tempted their taste buds and, in the process, convinced them to contribute to public television.

PBS stations around the country often rebroadcast Rick's programs because audiences respond so favorably to the quirky blend of Americana, places and personalities.

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