Texas Tech Staff Assist on New Historical Series

DATE: April 25, 2006
CONTACT: Scott Slemmons, scott.slemmons@ttu.edu
(806) 742-2136

LUBBOCK – Staff members from Texas Tech University helped bring a new PBS history series to life.

History Professor Alwyn Barr, Architecture Professor John White, Texas Tech University Museum Curator of History Henry Crawford, National Ranching Heritage Center Curator Robin Crawford and National Ranching Heritage Center Executive Director Jim Pfluger all served as consultants for "Texas Ranch House," an eight-part series that will premiere on PBS early next month.

The series focuses on a group of average people who set out to learn what Texas ranching was like in the 1860s by actually running a ranch using period tools, technology and clothing.

The show's participants have been asked to reveal few details about the program until after it premieres, but Henry Crawford said that the consultants helped guide the historical development of the show's scenarios and participated in a "boot camp" for the program's cast members to teach them how to live and work in a frontier environment.

"An additional role I had was portraying a buffalo soldier on camera to help tell the story of the U.S. Army's presence on the Texas frontier after the Civil War," said Crawford. "I helped arrange for other buffalo soldier re-enactors for the Army scenarios, and we appear in two episodes."

Pfluger also served as one of the evaluators who graded the participants on how well they accomplished the tasks and met the challenges and expectations of the experience. He appears on camera with the other evaluators in the last episode.

Crawford said the program's producers were very interested in making certain that everything on the show was historically accurate.

"Rarely did a day go by when an e-mail didn't come from one of the producers asking about types of saddles, historical chronology, lifestyles, illness, the proper type of lighting device or the like," Crawford said. "Once the shooting began, until well into post-production, we continued to field specific historical questions and were asked our opinions on many issues. The producers always made sure our opinions were heard, and 95% of the time, I believe our advice was followed."

The series will air locally on KTXT-TV (PBS) Channel 5, Cox Cable channel 4 Monday through Thursday, May 1-4, 8-10 p.m. The website for the series is located at http://www.pbs.org/ranchhouse.


CONTACT: Michelle Dillard, manager of television programming, KTXT-TV, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-1991, ext. 228, or e-mail michelle.dillard@ttu.edu.