Karl Hollandt said Wednesday he is looking for a location at which he will shoot his upcoming reality show that will be based in a bar much like the one from the classic NBC sitcom “Cheers”.
Hollandt said he is looking for a bar that has live music and colorful employees and patrons. He said he has looked throughout Kentucky and he’s now searching West Virginia and will also go to the Carolinas.
“I’m trying to get the lay of the land of the region,” Hollandt said. “The bar I’m looking for is the classic, roadhouse bar that is unique and well-known to a lot of people in the region. It usually has live music and is an exciting place where anything can happen. It’s being run by larger-than-life characters and it has a sort-of mystique to it and people from all around go there, like a Cheers, but in a non-urban setting.”
Hollandt said he’s currently researching the idea of the show and he’s looking for the right bar in which the reality show will be set.
“I’m really at the initial stages of trying to develop it,” Hollandt said. “This is a stage of development before I film anything. Once I film it, then I’ll pitch it (to a network). I would say it will be a documentary series.”
Hollandt said a bar is an essential area for a community.
“It’s a place where most people will go to, where people will share each others’ lives, try to have a good time and let their hair down, but there’s also stories to tell,” Hollandt said. “I used to work in a bar outside of Tallahassee that you had to take a county road to get to, then you get off the county road onto a dirt road and then you leave the dirt road and you’re in the middle of the woods and there’s a cinder block building and it probably played some of the best blues music you ever heard and you could eat some of the best fried catfish. I was unique in its own way. The people who came in and out were local, or they came from the urban setting, or from town, or from the rural setting. They were old and young. They might be college students. A night out there, there was always something interesting happening.”
Hollandt said he has just started looking in West Virginia. He said he’s traveled from Louisville to Paintsville, Ky., in Huntington and Charleston and he’s planning to search for the right bar in Williamson and in the Knoxville, Tenn., area.
“I’m trying to cover my bases,” Hollandt said. “Really, I’m trying to get a whole scope. I’m calling as many people as I can, trying to talk to people and get as much intel as I can get.”
Hollandt is based out of Jersey City and he was co-producer and associate producer on the Emmy-nominated show for the Sundance Channel called “Brick City”. Hollandt also helped produce an HBO basketball documentary on St. Patrick’s of Elizabeth, N.J., which featured University of Kentucky basketball star Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marshall University’s Chris Martin, a freshman on the Thundering Herd basketball team.
Hollandt said he hopes he can find a lively bar and Logan is definitely one of the places in which he’s looking.
This isn’t the first time television producers have come to Logan looking for interesting people for reality TV material.
Nearly a decade ago, a TV producer wanted to find a poor, rural family to use on the proposed “Real Beverly Hillbillies” reality show, but because it was going to be poking fun at West Virginians, an outcry from people around the state caused networks to refuse the show.
Former NFL football player Tony Siragusa was also looking to film a show in Logan.
And a reality TV crew was in Logan in November 2011 filming a show about emergency crews in a rural setting.