All the State is a “Song Stage”

Friends, fans, viewers...lend me your feedback about our new music competition series.
April 21, 2016
A woman sings while a man plays a guitar.

Competitors Courtney and Andy on "Song Stage Illinois."

I have to admit that I unconsciously rolled my eyes last August when I received an e-mail with the subject line "I'd like to pitch this show to you." Many times over the decades I've heard from enthusiastic people with big ideas about their very own TV shows. And usually all they've lacked was experience and production funding.

So, when Ryan Wiggins wrote to me about a show called Song Stage Illinois (formerly "Diamond in the Rough"), I was skeptical. A music competition series, even a scaled-down one, would be difficult to pull off. As Ryan didn't have an established reputation within the public broadcasting community, I was cautious about committing WILL to the project.

Things changed after we had a chance to meet in person, and I got a better sense of the vision for the show and for Ryan's ability to pull it off. In the months that followed, I gave him advice on the specific needs of public television stations. To my delight, my programming peers were convinced to pick up the show as well, and Song Stage Illinois is currently airing across the entire state. (Trust me, that's quite an accomplishment for an independent producer.)

Last Friday afternoon, I sat down with him again as he talked about the possibility of a second season for 2017. He expressed interest in expanding beyond the borders of Illinois, while maintaining a Midwest focus. 

I offered to share whatever feedback I received from our viewers, with the caveat that I don't often receive more than a few comments about any given series. And so I'm making an appeal to you. Tune in Fridays at 10 pm through June 3. Watch the show, and drop me a line. Did you enjoy it? What could be better about it? What would you like to see in a future season? Thanks in advance for your help!

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