Tom Brokaw has signed on for a multiplatform documentary project at NBC Universal that will feature the newsman filing dispatches on life during the recession as he undertakes a 10-month cross-country trip.
An outgrowth of the USA Network’s wide-reaching Character Project initiative, “Highway 50: A Road Trip Across America” will be co-produced by USA and Peacock Prods. Brokaw will profile individuals, families and small businesses feeling the effects of economic, political and cultural upheaval.
Beginning this spring, Brokaw will begin filing short vignettes from the project, with “Dispatches From the Road” presented by USA and MSNBC in primetime, as well as on the “NBC Nightly News” and “Today” show.
A one-hour documentary will premiere on USA in January to coincide with the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s inauguration.
“In the news business, we’re often so concentrated on the top, we don’t pay attention to what’s going on in the rest of the country,” said Brokaw, who retired from the “Nightly News” anchor chair in 2004. “This is an unusual time. Everything is happening at warp speed.”
The documentary was inspired by a still-photo series put together last summer by photographer David Eustace for USA’s public-outreach-driven Character Project. Eustace traveled the entire 3,000-mile coast-to-coast expanse of Highway 50, photographing people he met along the way.
USA is publishing those photos in an upcoming book, “American Character: A Photographic Journey,” for which Brokaw penned the foreword.