(FOX19) - A new reality-based TV series featuring four Cincinnati residents and a writing/directing/production crew drawn heavily from Cincinnati State's award-winning audio-video production program is slated to air on FOX 19 this summer.
The show, titled "Queen City," features four young professional women in Cincinnati and their efforts to support charities close to their hearts. The other star of the show is the Queen City herself. Everything that is special about Cincinnati – its neighborhoods, restaurants, architecture, arts, and culture – is prominently showcased throughout the episodes.
The series is being produced by Paul Grundy, the video production manager at Cincinnati State, along with Steve Taylor, a Cincinnati State and University of Cincinnati (College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning) graduate who is currently an adjunct professor in audio/video production at Cincinnati State specializing in direction and motion graphics. Bobby Gayol, a former Virgin Records recording artist with the band "Moth" and a part-time instructor at Cincinnati State, will provide the original music for the show and assist with production duties.
"Even though the world probably doesn't need another reality TV show about the lives of privileged young women, the value is in helping our students produce something that is incredibly entertaining and hopefully a successful show for television." said Grundy. "And 'Queen City' accomplishes this with Cincinnati as the backdrop to explore the lives of our actresses."
The series will be shot in high-definition at locations throughout Cincinnati by students, staff and faculty from Cincinnati State. Much of the editing and production will be done at Cincinnati State's studios.
The show is scheduled to premiere Sunday, July 24 and air for the following three Sundays on WXIX Channel 19, with a total of four initial episodes as a test pilot.
"We love to be the home for locally produced content – whether we produce it ourselves or if it comes from an independent producer. We have worked extremely well with Cincinnati State on other projects and have all the confidence in the world this will be a first rate production – in fact some of the early material I've seen truly is of network quality", said Bill Lanesey, Fox 19 station manager.
For Cincinnati State President O'dell M. Owens, "Queen City" is primarily a story about preparing students for successful careers.
"I told my staff when I first took this position last year; our number one priority is for the ultimate success of our students to find satisfying jobs when they graduate. We see this as a great opportunity for our students to get real work experience, plus build their resume, with something an employer can see, giving them the advantage over all the other job applicants," Dr. Owens said. "Not only will they be getting hands-on experience, they'll be showing the world what they've already learned. This is the real deal.''
After initially airing on Fox 19 this summer, Queen City will be sold online and in other formats, providing students another lesson in the business of television rights and licensing. At that point, Grundy said, they will have experienced the key aspects of what it means to be a television producer in today's market.
The initial storyline, co-created with Kevin Goryl, Channel 19 marketing director, revolves around the triumphs and tribulations of four young women as they try to maintain relationships and business ventures while working with other young professionals to promote developments in the urban core, as well as Cincinnati's surrounding areas and support various charities close to their hearts.
Cast members include Tracey Conrad, Katie Cassidy, Adhrucia Apana and Lauren Brown. Cincinnati – with its rolling hills, riverfront views, historic buildings and charming neighborhoods – is the fifth character in the show.
- Tracey is recently married and lives in the heart of downtown Cincinnati with her husband. Tracey left her career to dedicate time to her family and to be a full time volunteer for Cincinnati's arts and non-profits. She plans and promotes social events that not only raise money for charities but also help raise awareness of the continuing progress in downtown and the adjoining neighborhood known as Over-the-Rhine. She is the founder and president of the newly launched Young Philanthropist Society of Cincinnati, Chair of Mayor Mark Mallory's YPKC (Young Professionals Kitchen Cabinet) Arts and Entertainment Committee, and serves on several young professional committees and boards in the city.
- Katie is a bubbly young woman establishing her career in marketing and advertising. She is actively involved with the USO and serves on the board of Visionaries and Voices. She was recently named Cincinnati's Finest Young Professional by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for her efforts to support the local chapter and has since joined their junior board.
- Adhrucia is one of Tracey's best friends. They met and bonded over their love of the city and support of the arts community. She is a media savvy woman in her mid- 20's. She started her career working in advertising and marketing in New York and Los Angeles. Adhrucia returned to Cincinnati and was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. She runs her own freelance marketing outfit and moonlights as a wine rep to pay the bills while she attempts to build her dream business. Adhrucia serves on several YP committees/ boards, is a FOX network VIP and is a lifelong University of Cincinnati Bearcats fan.
- Lauren is an executive chef in downtown Cincinnati. She and Katie are best friends. As a woman working in a male-dominated industry, she has gained the respect of her peers as a hard worker and talented cook. Her friends love Lauren's dry sense of humor and "in your face'' attitude. She grew up immersed in the restaurant industry – she is the daughter of Richard Brown, who was at one time the maitre'd of Cincinnati's famous (but, alas, departed) Maisonette.