PBS Won’t Produce Another Season of John McGivern

Some sad news about a beloved local TV show.

A Washington County Insider story broke the painful news today that Milwaukee PBS has decided not to renew John McGivern’s local travel show, “Around the Corner with John McGivern.”

McGivern did a live show at the Schauer Arts Center in Hartford yesterday, and during the Q&A afterward, he revealed that the “Around the Corner”, which has run for nine seasons on PBS, had not been renewed.  

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According to McGivern, PBS wanted to move “in another direction” with more “COVID-related programming.” He also said that he was looking at options for the show’s future.

The show, which follows McGivern to locales around Wisconsin, where he explores local attractions, cracks wise with historian John Gurda, samples area cuisine, and proliferates wholesome Wisconsin goodness across the airwaves, won him his fifth Emmy last year for hosting.

McGivern also wrote a series of articles about his time in different Wisconsin towns for this very magazine, which you can read here.

On the night after this article was originally published, PBS released a statement about the non-renewal of the show. It reads, in part: “On October 26, 2020, Mr. McGivern expressed his intent to independently produce [‘Around the Corner’] so viewers might anticipate future episodes should he move forward with this model. … Milwaukee PBS has offered to continue to air ‘Around the Corner with John McGivern’ under an independent production model proposed to Mr. McGivern. … We understand ‘Around the Corner with John McGivern’ is a beloved tradition and escape for many Wisconsin families. In light of the economic realities stemming from the pandemic and the substantial costs of the series, we are unable to continue production of ‘Around the Corner with John McGivern.’ We are encouraged by Mr. McGivern’s intent to find funding for his series so he can produce the show independently.”

The statement also cites the difficulty of producing the show during the pandemic, while keeping everyone involved safe, and adds that “Milwaukee PBS will increase its focus in 2021 on the impact of COVID-19, racial injustice, and economic disparity on southeast Wisconsin. These critical issues are the station’s commitments to the communities it serves.”

PBS will continue to air episodes from the previous nine seasons of “Around the Corner”

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Archer is the managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine. Some say he is a great warrior and prophet, a man of boundless sight in a world gone blind, a denizen of truth and goodness, a beacon of hope shining bright in this dark world. Others say he smells like cheese.