PBS to Bow David Kelly Docuseries ‘Hope in the Water’ in Summer 2024

PBS will release the three-part, character-driven docuseries “Hope in the Water,” from multi-award-winning producer David E. Kelley (“Love & Death,” “Lincoln Lawyer,” “Big Little Lies”) in collaboration with four-time James Beard Award and Emmy Award winner Chef Andrew Zimmern and his production company Intuitive Content (MSNBC’s “What’s Eating America,” “Family Dinner,” “Andrew Zimmern’s Wild Game Kitchen,” “Feral”), in summer 2024 on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS App.

Marking Kelley’s foray into docuseries television, “Hope in the Water” travels the globe to discover the creative solutions and breakthrough blue food technologies that could not only feed the world but help save threatened seas and fresh waterways. The series highlights the stories of innovators, aquafarmers and fishers who are working toward a sustainable future for the planet.

Environmental enthusiasts Shailene Woodley, Martha Stewart, José Andrés and Baratunde Thurston reveal hidden underworlds jeopardized by climate change, irresponsible fishing and exploitation, and habitat destruction. 

“We’re particularly excited about ‘Hope in the Water’s’ potential to reach broad audiences thanks to the powerful voices at the forefront of the series, who demonstrate the possibilities of a more sustainable future,” Bill Gardner, VP of multiplatform programming and head of development at PBS, said in a statement. “With a commitment to extensive public engagement around the series, we aim to not only bring compelling and authentic documentary content to audiences but also to connect and strengthen voices, people and communities with real world ways to make a difference.”

“Through ‘Hope in the Water’ we are on a mission to reimagine a planet where both ecological balance and food abundance are possible. Our series is a fresh take on how we can rewrite menus worldwide that will create meaningful and lasting impact for generations to come,” Kelley said in a statement. “Andrew and I are buoyed by our enthusiastic collaborators — Shailene, Martha, Baratunde and José — and are proud to partner with the Earth-conscious changemakers at PBS.”

Actor and activist Woodley grew up surfing the California coast and has witnessed firsthand how “zombie” purple urchins have taken over and destroyed kelp forests. She goes underwater with urchin divers who collect the barren urchins and then deliver them to a farm where their buttery roe is grown and harvested — turning an ecological imbalance into a sellable commodity and helping to save the kelp at the same time.

“It’s my hope that through this important work, we can collectively practice better alternatives that will nourish communities across the planet and sustain our waters,” Woodley said in a statement.

Stewart has a deep connection to the Gulf of Maine — the fastest warming body of water on the planet. She sails into Penobscot Bay where a young fisherman abandoned his plans of lobstering for a more sustainable alternative: scallop farming. As Stewart cooks the scallops, she notes that Maine’s famous lobsters are now migrating further north in search of colder water. Aquafarms like this are the future.

“The interconnectivity between Earth and all its inhabitants has always inspired my passions,” Stewart said in a statement. “We’ve been given the gift of this incredible planet — the only one we call home — and when we pair it with human ingenuity to think outside the box, we can become more eco-friendly and expect better for our future.” 

A renowned chef and humanitarian, Andrés recounts the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico in 2017. He and volunteers with World Central Kitchen prepared more than 4 million meals to feed hungry survivors. Importantly, World Central Kitchen also provided grants to fishers to repair boats, buy new engines, and rebuild their fishery. Marine conservationist Raimundo Espinoza assisted that effort and is now helping these fishers pivot to a new and sustainable species: 60-pound diamondback squid.

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Baratunde Thurston weaves together threads of technology, democracy and climate through his work as an Emmy-nominated host, producer, writer and public speaker. He is a founding partner of the new media startup Puck and creator and host of the “How to Citizen” podcast. He is also the host and executive producer of the PBS television series “America Outdoors.”

“I’ve assessed all the planets and strongly prefer life on Earth. It’s essential that we find ways to take care of this planet which is another way of saying take care of ourselves,” stated Thurston.