TOUGHER IN ALASKA: A New Weekly Series on History(TM) Premiers on Thursday, May 8 at 10 pm ET/PT

  Tougher in Alaska Host Geo Beach. (PRNewsFoto/History(TM), Mark Brinster)

  Tougher in Alaska Host Geo Beach. (PRNewsFoto/History(TM))


   Throughout history, Alaskans have had to fight for survival. Even now,

    everything is STILL Tougher in Alaska - the last American frontier.

Geo Beach travels to extreme locations in this giant state, from wind-swept

  Arctic tundra to rugged coastal mountains - mining for gold, fishing for

       salmon, and tackling other tough, uniquely Alaskan activities.    NEW YORK, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Everything is tougher in Alaska.

From earning a living to burying the dead, everyday life here has always

been shaped by severe weather, rugged terrain and vast distances between

communities. The people who call Alaska home have a long history of

overcoming adversity and adapting to their extreme environment. Host Geo

Beach, who has lived in Alaska for more than 25 years, is on a quest to

find out what it really takes to survive and thrive in Alaska. The new

series TOUGHER IN ALASKA premieres Thursday, May 8, 2008 at 10 pm ET/PT on


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It wouldn't be a tough show without a tough host, and TOUGHER IN ALASKA

host Geo Beach is just that. Since moving to Alaska, Geo has worked as a

logger, firefighter and medic, and commercial fisherman -- including winter

crabbing on the Bering Sea. He knows his way around oil spills and

industrial kitchens, construction sites and law enforcement. Like most

Alaskans, Geo has endured plenty of waves, winds and blizzards while living

here. Armed with his own experience and the centuries of Alaskan tradition,

Geo reveals the guts, self-reliance, ingenuity and technology it takes to

survive and prosper in this challenging land considered America's last


Each episode of TOUGHER IN ALASKA charts an expedition through the

far-flung corners of the huge Alaskan state -- from the tops of mountains

to the depths of the Bering Sea. It investigates unique aspects of life in

Alaska, looks at how Alaskan pioneers got things done in the past, and

explores how they overcome harsh conditions to get things done today. Along

the way, we meet a lot of plucky Alaskans -- all following in the footsteps

of the great explorers who originally survived and thrived in the extreme


The first week of TOUGHER IN ALASKA (May 8) finds Geo hunting for gold

in the great Alaskan wilderness, something people have been doing since the

1870s, when the promise of gold first lured men north to Alaska. Today,

with the cost of gold skyrocketing, the race is on once again and Geo joins

in on the chase. He'll see how individual prospectors around the state use

ingenious techniques (including a giant underwater vacuum) to get the gold

out, and he'll join a team of hard rock miners in the frontier mining town

of Wiseman as they blast through 250 feet of rock in the hopes of hitting

the mother lode. TOUGHER IN ALASKA: GOLD MINING premieres May 8 at 10 pm


In future episodes, Geo tackles different, demanding adventures and

locations -- vividly illustrating how living in Alaska is just plain harder

than it is in the Lower 48. Some upcoming topics:

SALMON FISHING (premieres 5/15)

Each summer in late June, more than 2,000 fishing vessels converge on

Alaska's Bristol Bay to await one of the greatest natural spectacles of the

north: the annual run of millions of sockeye salmon to their spawning

grounds. Bristol Bay is the most productive and best-managed commercial

salmon fishery in the world with an average annual catch of ten million

fish valued at more than one hundred million dollars. What follows the fish

during the short, three-week run is an altogether man-made spectacle of the

highest order: thousands of highly competitive fishermen doing serious

battle with one another in their specialized, high-performance boats. Host

Geo Beach will be on deck with two crews as they navigate the bay looking

for the mother lode of sockeye, or red salmon. It's all about getting the

fish in the nets. But staying up all night, avoiding collisions with other

boats and confrontations with other fishermen, and keeping the peace with

the State Troopers who patrol the crowded fishery by land, sea, and sky

just makes it more interesting.

ELECTRIC LINEMEN (premieres 5/22)

What does it take to keep the power on in a state where more than half

of its people live off the grid, and plunging temperatures, high winds and

heavy snow loads can snap even the hardiest overhead electrical wires and

transmission towers? Host Geo Beach flies out to the remote village of

Kasigluk to help install power poles and string electrical wire by hand

(there are no bucket trucks in the bush) and he'll dig in with the linemen

of the Golden Valley Electric Association during the infamously bitter

winters in Fairbanks as they brave temps as low as minus 40, just to keep

the lights on and heating systems going in the state's second largest city.

LOGGING (premieres 5/29)

Logging is a difficult profession anywhere, but in Alaska's Southeast

Panhandle, unforgiving coastal mountains, steep valleys, and ugly weather

make this work even tougher. Host Geo Beach will learn first-hand about it

when he embeds with veteran loggers in Ketchikan, located in the heart of

the Tongass National Forest, the nation's largest. They'll teach him how to

fell giant spruce trees with a single chainsaw, "choke and chase" them with

a cable-logging machine, and deliver them on teeth-chattering logging roads

and rocking barges to the mill. And he'll join the most extreme loggers of

them all -- heli-loggers -- who fly deep into rugged stretches and steep

areas where no roads can go to haul the valuable logs out of the


Other topics covered include: Railroading ... Roads ... Forces of

Nature ... Garbage ... Salvaging ... Fairbanks Winter ... Disconnected ...

Policing ... and Frozen Freeway. In these episodes, Geo struggles against

bitter winter weather to keep the electricity flowing to Alaska's second

largest city, triggers a "controlled" avalanche, and tempts fate in one of

the most active seismic zones in the world. As always, Alaska dishes up

lots of real work, risks, and excitement.

The new series TOUGHER IN ALASKA is produced for History by Moore

Huntley Productions. Executive Producer for History is Carl H. Lindahl.

Executive Producer is David Huntley.

The official mini-site for the TOUGHER IN ALASKA series,, will feature images and video,

including our host Geo Beach, who will share insights about the Alaskan

lifestyle and daily activities in the last American frontier. The site will

also include interactive maps, history content on Alaska, and background

information to supplement the programs. A teaser page with on-air promos

will launch first, followed by the official mini-site on April 23.

History(TM) and History HD(TM) are the leading destinations for

revealing, award-winning, original non-fiction series and event-driven

specials that connects history with viewers in an informative, immersive

and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. Programming covers a

diverse variety of historical genres ranging from military history to

contemporary history, technology to natural history, as well as science,

archaeology and pop culture. Among the networks program offerings are hit

series such as Ax Men, Battle 360, The Universe, Cities of The Underworld

and Ice Road Truckers, as well as acclaimed specials including King, Life

After People, 1968 With Tom Brokaw, Lost Book of Nostradamus, Star Wars:

The Legacy Revealed and Sherman's March. History has earned four Peabody

Awards, three Primetime Emmy(R) Awards, 10 News & Documentary Emmy(R)

Awards and received the prestigious Governor's Award from the Academy of

Television Arts & Sciences for the network's Save Our History(R) campaign

dedicated to historic preservation and history education. Take A Veteran to

School Day is the network's latest initiative connecting America's schools

and communities with veterans from all wars. History's website, located at, is the definitive historical online source that

delivers entertaining and informative content featuring broadband video,

interactive timelines, maps, games podcasts and more.

SOURCE History(TM)

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    Photo Notes:
    AP Archive: AP PhotoExpress
    Network: PRN21, PRN22 PRN Photo Desk,

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    Writer for 30 years. Genealogy a hobby for about 40 years. Yes, I'm in my 50's, I learned about genealogy at my mother's knee!
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