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WTTW Press Room


For Immediate Release
October 15, 2007

SS United States: Lady in Waiting The Saga of a Maritime Marvel Coming to Public Television Stations in Spring of 2008

Chicago, IL – WTTW National Productions, the award-winning PBS affiliate in Chicago, has signed an agreement with Big Ship Films, LLC to present SS United States: Lady in Waiting, an original one-hour documentary profiling the once iconic 20th century ocean liner. This groundbreaking documentary is scheduled to premiere on public television stations nationwide in May, 2008 (check local listings).

SS United States: Lady in Waiting has been in development for more than a decade, and is truly a labor of love for director Robert Radler (Best of the Best 1&2, The Substitute – HBO World Premieres, V.I.P.), Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning producer Mark B. Perry (Brothers & Sisters, Party of Five, The Wonder Years), and producer Dea Shandera (former EVP of Worldwide Marketing for MGM Television, producer of multiple projects for the Disney Channel including Earth Day at Walt Disney World). Radler, Perry and Shandera's film will follow the ship's journey from being a mid-20th century technological and design marvel to a largely-forgotten relic – a ship that was abruptly laid up in 1969.

The one-hour documentary, shot in high-definition, takes the viewer on a fascinating journey of discovery about the SS United States. The program features compelling interviews with crew and passengers, archival footage, and reveals the ship's top secret design and capabilities. The ship still holds the east and west bound passenger ship speed record for a vessel of its size, and deserves preservation and recognition as a national treasure.

Amazingly, the ship still exists, moored and seemingly derelict at a pier in Philadelphia, where the production team has been allowed access to examine her current state and explore the concept that she might again sail the seas.

SS United States: Lady in Waiting is being produced with the cooperation of the SS United States Conservancy, a national non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the ship and her legacy. The Conservancy has granted the producers exclusive access to their archives of stills, vintage films and home movies.

Producer/Director: Robert Radler
Producer: Mark B. Perry
Producer: Dea Shandera
Editor: Curt David Sackett
Composer: Steve Edwards


About Big Ship Films, LLC Los Angeles-based Big Ship Films LLC represents the shared dream of producer-director Robert Radler and producer Mark B. Perry, both of whom have had a lifelong fascination with the story of the SS United States. When they joined forces to produce a documentary about our nation's flagship, Big Ship Films was born. The company's name is a nod to the ship's designer, William Francis Gibbs, who always referred to his life's work as "The Big Ship." More information on Big Ship Films, LLC and SS United States: Lady in Waiting is available at: www.bigshipfilms.com

About WTTW National Productions WTTW National Productions is a premier producer and presenter of original, high-quality television programs for both public and commercial television broadcast. WTTW National Productions is a division of Window to the World Communications, Inc., the parent company of WTTW11 Chicago, the nation's most-watched public television station. For more than 50 years, WTTW11 and WTTW National Productions have introduced a wide array of ground-breaking television programming – reflecting the world's rich and diverse arts and entertainment scene as well as education, politics, public affairs, business, and religion – to a national audience. Its landmark innovative series and original productions include the critically-acclaimed performance showcases Soundstage and Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis; Grannies on Safari; CEO Exchange; David Broza at Masada: The Sunrise Concert; MEXICO – One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless; and WordWorld, the first of four children's properties to come from the Ready to Learn Partnership, a creative consortium that includes WTTW National Productions and Word World, LLC. WTTW National Productions is the presenting station for SS United States: Lady in Waiting.

WTTW11 Contact
Holly H. Gilson
Director, Corporate Communication
(773) 509-5424

 
       
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