Programs center on Cuba, India, New Zealand and Iran

PBS has committed to broadcasting eight half-hour travel bio programs, starting Oct. 12, from Seattle-based producer/writer/host Holly Morris, via her Adventure Divas shingle.

The programs, which were funded by PBS and underwriters including REI.com, center on exemplary women in four locations: Cuba, India, New Zealand and Iran. Each location features two half-hour segments. Company is already planning eight additional shows for four more locations.

“I think Holly is a great discovery, because she approaches the subject matter in a way that viewers can identify with,” said John Wilson, co-chief program executive at PBS.

Added Morris: “This is an ongoing global pilgrimage to see the world through an alternative lense. The signposts of our adventures are the women in these countries.”

In the India segment, produced by former Zoetrope exec Julie Costanzo, among the women Morris interviews is Phoolan Devi, the recently assassinated member of Parliament known as the Bandit Queen.

The Iranian segment includes an interview with feminist filmmaker Tahmineh Milani (“Two Women”), who was arrested last week by the Iranian government because her new film, “The Hidden Half,” was deemed insulting to Islam.

Morris, who runs Adventure Divas with her mother, Jeannie Morris, is the former editorial director of Seal Press, where she edited fiction and nonfiction by women writers. She writes for The New York Times Book Review, Ms. and Outside. She is also a host of episodes of Discovery/National Geographic’s “Treks in a Wild World” and “Lonely Planet Treks in America” and contributes to the National Geographic channel’s “Today” show.

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