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American Ride’ episode features Notre Dame

NICOLE McALEE | Thursday, November 21, 2013

On Monday night, Notre Dame was featured on the Emmy Award-winning TV show “American Ride,” a journey through some of America’s most historically significant places hosted by former history teacher and Harley Davidson enthusiast Stan Ellsworth.

“American Ride” is a production of BYUtv, a television network featuring programming from and funded by Brigham Young University (BYU) and its sponsoring institution, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Terri Pappas, supervising producer of “American Ride,” said the Notre Dame episode was the brainchild of BYUtv managing director Derek Marquis.

 “[The team] was struck by Notre Dame’s beauty, rich historic heritage and its position as a symbol of American culture, where faith, fellowship and football converge,” Pappas said.

“Derek Marquis and the ‘American Ride’ team felt that the University’s powerful story would fit well with the overall concept of the series and envisioned an episode in which host Stan Ellsworth would chronicle Notre Dame’s story from its initial founding to today.”

Pappas said she initially reached out to the University last year with the idea of filming the episode. She also worked with Vineyard Productions, the producers of “American Ride,” to determine the episode’s content.

“BYUtv shot the episode last October during the BYU-Notre Dame football game with the intention to air it around the BYU-Notre Dame game the following year,” Pappas said.

Pappas said the “American Ride” team was welcomed to film the episode on campus last fall.

“The crew worked with Dennis Brown, Notre Dame’s [spokesman and] assistant vice president, who was very gracious in helping with the filming logistics, and was also featured on camera as a spokesman for the University,” Pappas said.  

“… Stan Ellsworth and the crew were warmly received by all they encountered across faculty, students, administration, clergy and sports fans. Filming the episode was a wonderful, positive experience and the network and production team are delighted with the episode.”

Marquis said it was not just Notre Dame’s football prowess that inspired the episode of “American Ride,” but the school’s reputation for strong, positive values.

“Notre Dame is a powerful force for doing good in the country and the world, and that mission resonates with BYUtv,” Marquis said. “Of course, there’s also a common love of football, but BYU wanted to connect in a way that went beyond the playing field.”

The Notre Dame episode of “American Ride” features Ellsworth discussing the University’s founding, academic rigor and unique traditions. It is available to view online at byutv.org, and will also be shown on BYUtv at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time tomorrow, directly preceding and following the game between the Irish and BYU.

Contact Nicole McAlee at [email protected]