It’s interesting how powerful storytelling is and that’s something I think our readers can connect with, especially in thinking of how story was used so effectively in the Bible to provoke thinking.

I think you hit it on the head when you were asking are these people being coaxed. In the landscape of this kind of TV, we get used to the idea that Kim Kardashian’s probably been working on those lines. And I think . . . we’re dealing with much more real people than are seeking some type of celebrity. We’re always trying to get good storytellers. That’s one thing that sometimes makes it tough in the story selection. Some people just aren’t good talkers. Producers are often saying how this is a very emotional experience for people and how they have to create a very nurturing space in the interview setting. They really just make it a conversation, and I think it sounds like that’s something that has affected you as you’ve watched.

Would you say that that’s an over-arching vision for all of the BIO Channel then . . . promoting the power of story and people speaking for themselves?

I think historically and I think moving forward with BIO Channel . . . it’s a very important channel to the A&E TV Network, so I think in the next year you’re going to see some really exciting things, some new shows we’re exploring. But I think you’ve hit it on the head. I think some of the real strongest shows or series we have really rely on the whole first-person storytelling—from Celebrity Ghost Stories all the way to I Survived to My Ghost Story. I think there’s something about these sort of incredible tales to tell. I think maybe ten years ago these are stories you would’ve have heard on TV or in movies, but they would have been archival with a voiceover telling you this person’s story. But now that very same story is told from the lips of the person who experienced it. It may be a lot more work, you may have to work harder to get that person to sit down and talk to you, but it really connects with viewers. That first-person testimonial element is a big deal to us.

I really think that here’s a show that if you’ve ever wondered what happens when you die, tune in. And maybe you’re not going to get an answer, but it’ll get you thinking.


The second season of I Survived ... Beyond and Back premieres this Sunday night, October 23, 2011 on BIO Channel at 10 PM ET/9PM CT/11PM PT. For more information about I Survived ... Beyond and Back or BIO Channel, please visit the official Web site here.