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Spotlight on Two NDtv Projects: “NDtv Abroad” and “Higher Education”

Jordan Gamble | Thursday, February 4, 2010

This semester, NDtv will be airing new weekly episodes of its debate show, “Unnecessary Roughness” and its news show, “The Tailgate,” which NDtv executive director Nick Andert likened to a cross between “The Daily Show” and the Weekend Update segment from “Saturday Night Live.” Other shows tend to have “seasons” of about five or six episodes spread out through the semester because they require filming outside of the studio.
In one case, that filming takes place half way around the world. Saint Mary’s sophomore Stephanie Cherpak is currently filming season three of “NDtv Abroad” in Rome, Italy.
“This is our way of trying to share the experience with those who are not fortunate enough to travel abroad themselves,” Cherpak said.
Cherpak said that while every season has differed depending on who is doing the filming, the general idea is to build up some documentary footage to air next fall.
“My approach is to film interesting and important things while here, review the footage when I return to the states, and then edit it based on topics  — location, residence, restaurants, monuments, travels,” Cherpak wrote.
A little closer to campus, Notre Dame senior Mark Lyons just finished editing together the first episode of the new half-hour sitcom, “Higher Education,” which debuts Thursday at 11 pm.
Lyons worked with NDtv’s movie review show, “The Final Cut,” his freshman year but came back after spending last summer cobbling together a test pilot for “Higher Education.” The actual series stars Lyons and his three roommates, with the first episode’s filming taking place over three days in late January.
“Then I buried myself in an editing room for 12 hours to get it done,” he said.
Lyons said the show is in the same vein as shows like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” Lyons plans on moving to Los Angeles after graduation to pursue a job as a staff writer for a television comedy series.