Rick Steves' Iran: Yesterday and Today

Join Rick as he explores the most surprising and fascinating land he's ever visited: Iran. In a one-hour, ground-breaking travel special on public television, you'll discover the splendid monuments of Iran's rich and glorious past, learn more about the 20th-century story of this perplexing nation, and experience Iranian life today in its historic capital and in a countryside village. Most important, you'll meet the people of this nation whose government so exasperates our own.

 

Iran Station Support

Iran is the most poorly understood yet fascinating land I've visited. In my one-hour travel special my hope is to learn about this perplexing nation whose government so exasperates America.

With its timely and provocative content, I produced "Rick Steves' Iran" with prime time in mind. Join us as we discover the wonders of Iran!

Promotional Tips

Dear Public Television Station Programmers,

I am thrilled that your station is planning to run my most exciting public television project yet, "Rick Steves' Iran." My staff and I are here to help you promote this event and make it a success. Here is how:

Schedule in Prime Time

With a combination of high quality production values and timely, provocative content, "Rick Steves' Iran" was produced with prime time scheduling in mind.

Announce "Rick Steves' Iran" to Viewers in Your Area"

We have a national database of travelers who have enjoyed our TV series and guidebooks. We can send tailored email messages to our customers in your viewing area to announce the program. Just let us know the zip code range for your viewing area, the date you plan to air the special, and we'll do the rest!

Promote "Rick Steves' Iran" in your Viewer Guide and Local Media

I wrote an article (see "Viewer Guide Article" below) to help promote "Rick Steves' Iran." Feel free to tailor the article to fit the format of your viewer guide or website. We also have photographs to accompany the article. The enclosed press release (see "Sample Press Release" below) may be helpful in publicizing the event to travel editors and entertainment and television guides in your area. The text for both the article and the press release, as well as the photos, can be emailed to you by request.

If you have any questions or would like additional publicity support, please contact Ashley Sytsma at my office by phone (425-608-4293, fax 425-771-0833), or email (ashley@ricksteves.com).

Good luck, and thanks for running the program!

Sincerely,

Rick Steves

 

Sample Press Release

Rick Steves' Iran, Yesterday and Today

KXXX to debut Steves' public television travelogue on the history, culture and people of Iran

City, State – Rick Steves, recently back from Iran, calls it "the most poorly understood yet fascinating land" he's ever visited. In his upcoming travel special, premiering exclusively in the xxx area on KXXX, Steves takes us on a journey of discovery. His hope? To learn more about this perplexing nation whose government so exasperates America, and to better understand the 70 million people who call Iran home.

This 60-minute travel special, available in high-definition, shows the glorious monuments of Iran's rich past, as well as Iranian life today — in its giant metropolis, historic capital, workaday towns, and a countryside village.

Steves captures Persian culture: from Friday prayer in a mosque to the nonconformist teen fashions at the mall; from anti-American murals to the hospitality of a family dinner; and from the tranquility of rural life to the crazy traffic of modern Tehran.

Rather than a political documentary dealing with the complex issues that confront our governments, Rick Steves' Iran is a travelogue designed to increase our understanding of an ancient nation that has been a leader in its corner of the world for 2,500 years.

Steves says, "After 30 years of world travel, I've learned that the best way to understand an unfamiliar culture is to visit and meet its people. My impressions were striking: the intensity of the streets of Tehran, the crowds of women covered head-to-toe in chadors, and the overwhelming friendliness of the people. I was awed by the domed mosques, saddened by the conformity of the university, energized by the youthfulness of the population, and impressed by the dramatic ancient sites."

Enjoying ice cream with religious leaders, marveling at the popularity of nose jobs for women, and witnessing the sorrow that blankets martyrs' cemeteries, Steves and his crew provide a glimpse of Iran never before shown on American television. Steves believes that, while there are no easy solutions to the problems confronting our two countries, surely getting to know more about this culture is a step in the right direction.

Rick Steves' Iran, Yesterday and Today will air on KXXX, Sunday, January X, 2009.

The Rick Steves' Iran film crew consists of Steves, co-producer Simon Griffith, cameraman Karel Bauer, and editor Steve Cammarano. The show is produced by Back Door Productions based at Steves' corporate headquarters, Europe Through The Back Door Inc., in Edmonds, WA. Oregon Public Broadcasting presents the series, which is distributed through American Public Television.

Rick is available for a select number of interviews to discuss this new project and his experience inside Iran. To learn more, visit www.ricksteves.com/iran. To request an interview or a review tape, please contact Ashley Sytsma, Publicist, at ashley@ricksteves.com or 425-608-4293.

 

Viewer Guide Articles

Public television stations have permission to make changes as they like and reprint this article (with photos) in their viewer guides. Please note that there are four versions of the article: 490, 340, 210 and 135 words.

Check out downloadable publicity photos for "Rick Steves' Iran" (see "Download Promotional Media" below).

 

Rick Steves' Iran, Yesterday and Today on Public Television [490 words]

Rick Steves, recently back from Iran, calls it "the most poorly understood yet fascinating land" he's ever visited. In his upcoming TV special, Steves takes us on a journey of discovery. His hope? To learn more about this perplexing nation whose government so exasperates America, and to gain a better understanding of the 70 million people who call Iran home.

This 60-minute special, shot in glorious high-definition, shows the splendid monuments of Iran's rich past, as well as Iranian life today--in its giant metropolis, historic capital, workaday towns, and a countryside village.

Steves captures Persian culture vividly: from Friday prayer in a mosque to the nonconformist teen fashions at the mall; from anti-American murals to the hospitality of a family dinner; and from the tranquility of rural life to the crazy traffic of modern Tehran.

Rather than a political documentary dealing with the complex issues that confront our governments, "Rick Steves' Iran" is a travelogue designed to increase our understanding of an ancient nation that has been a leader in its corner of the world for 2,500 years.

Steves says, "After 30 years of world travel, I've learned that the best way to understand an unfamiliar culture is to visit and meet its people. My impressions were striking: the intensity of the streets of Tehran, the crowds of women covered head-to-toe in chadors, and the overwhelming friendliness of the people. I was awed by the domed mosques, saddened by the conformity of the university, energized by the youthfulness of the population, and impressed by the dramatic ancient sites."

"Sprawling Tehran--with its snow-capped peaks and chaotic traffic--gives mixed messages. Murals denounce the USA and Israel as evil empires, yet the people broke into smiles when they heard we were Americans."

"Esfahan is a city of grace. Its grand mosques are made of exquisite tiles. On Fridays they're filled with thousands of people praying in services that felt surprisingly similar to my church back home. Down by the river, families picnicked and strolled along the grassy bank. Bridges were crowded with convivial young people doing what seemed like a Persian paseo. It could almost be in Europe."

And Steves includes the grand site of Persepolis, which holds the ruins and tombs of a powerful ancient culture. This was the heart of the Persian Empire 2,500 years ago, when Persia ruled a vast area from Athens to India. Today this ancient capital is a major source of pride for the Iranian people.

Enjoying ice cream with religious leaders, marveling at the popularity of nose jobs for women, and witnessing the sorrow that blankets martyrs' cemeteries, Steves and his crew provide an intimate glimpse of Iran never before shown on American television. Steves believes that, while there are no easy solutions to the problems confronting our two countries, surely getting to know more about this culture is a step in the right direction.

"Rick Steves' Iran" will air on KXXX, Thursday, January 15, 2009.

 

Rick Steves' Iran on Public Television [340 words]

Rick Steves, recently back from Iran, calls it "the most poorly understood yet fascinating land" he's ever visited. In his upcoming TV special, Steves takes us on a journey of discovery. His hope? To learn more about this perplexing nation whose government so exasperates America, and to better understand the 70 million people who call Iran home.

This 60-minute special, shot in glorious high-definition, shows the splendid monuments of Iran's rich past, as well as Iranian life today--in its giant metropolis, historic capital, workaday towns, and a countryside village.

Steves captures Persian culture vividly: from Friday prayer in a mosque to the nonconformist teen fashions at the mall; from anti-American murals to the hospitality of a family dinner; and from the tranquility of rural life to the crazy traffic of modern Tehran.

Rather than a political documentary dealing with the complex issues that confront our governments, "Rick Steves' Iran" is a travelogue designed to increase our understanding of an ancient nation that has been a leader in its corner of the world for 2,500 years.

Steves says, "After 30 years of world travel, I've learned that the best way to understand an unfamiliar culture is to visit and meet its people. My impressions were striking: the intensity of the streets of Tehran, the crowds of women covered head-to-toe in chadors, and the overwhelming friendliness of the people. I was awed by the domed mosques, saddened by the conformity of the university, energized by the youthfulness of the population, and impressed by the dramatic ancient sites."

Enjoying ice cream with religious leaders, marveling at the popularity of nose jobs for women, and witnessing the sorrow that blankets martyrs' cemeteries, Steves and his crew provide an intimate glimpse of Iran never before shown on American television. Steves believes that, while there are no easy solutions to the problems confronting our two countries, surely getting to know more about this culture is a step in the right direction.

"Rick Steves' Iran" will air on KXXX, Thursday, January 15, 2009.

 

Rick Steves' Iran on Public Television [210 words]

Rick Steves, recently back from Iran, calls it "the most poorly understood yet fascinating land" he's ever visited. In his upcoming TV special, Steves takes us on a journey of discovery. His hope? To learn more about this perplexing nation whose government so exasperates America, and to better understand the 70 million people who call Iran home.

This 60-minute special, shot in glorious high-definition, shows the splendid monuments of Iran's rich past, as well as Iranian life today from Tehran to Esfahan and Shiraz, and into the countryside.

Steves captures Persian culture vividly: from Friday prayer in a mosque to the nonconformist teen fashions at the mall; from anti-American murals to the hospitality of a family dinner; and from the tranquility of rural life to the crazy traffic of modern Tehran.

Enjoying ice cream with religious leaders, marveling at the popularity of nose jobs for women, and witnessing the sorrow that blankets martyrs' cemeteries, Steves and his crew provide an intimate glimpse of Iran never before shown on American television. Steves believes that, while there are no easy solutions to the problems confronting our two countries, surely getting to know more about this culture is a step in the right direction.

"Rick Steves' Iran" will air on KXXX, Thursday, January 15, 2009.

 

Rick Steves' Iran on Public Television [135 words]

Rick Steves, recently back from Iran, calls it "the most poorly understood yet fascinating land" he's ever visited. In his upcoming TV special, Steves takes us on a journey of discovery. His hope? To learn more about this perplexing nation whose government so exasperates America, and to better understand the 70 million people who call Iran home.

This 60-minute high-definition special shows the splendid monuments of Iran's rich past, as well as Iranian life today from Tehran to Esfahan and Shiraz, and into the countryside.

Enjoying ice cream with religious leaders, marveling at the popularity of nose jobs for women, and witnessing the sorrow that blankets martyrs' cemeteries, Steves and his crew provide an intimate glimpse of Iran never before shown on American television.

"Rick Steves' Iran" will air on KXXX, Thursday, January 15, 2009.

 

Host Biography

Rick Steves advocates smart, affordable, perspective-broadening travel. As host and writer of the popular public television series Rick Steves' Europe, and best-selling author of over 50 European travel books, he encourages Americans to travel as "temporary locals." He helps American travelers connect much more intimately and authentically with Europe — and Europeans — for a fraction of what mainstream tourists pay.

Over the past 20 years, Rick has hosted over 100 travel shows for public television, and numerous pledge specials (raising millions of dollars for local stations). His Rick Steves' Europe TV series is carried by over 300 stations, reaching 95 percent of U.S. markets. Rick has also created two award-winning specials for public television: Rick Steves' European Christmas and the ground-breaking Rick Steves' Iran. Rick writes and co-produces his television programs through his company, Back Door Productions.

Rick Steves also hosts a weekly public radio program, Travel with Rick Steves. With a broader approach to travel everywhere, in each hour-long program Rick interviews guest travel expert, followed by listener call-ins. Travel with Rick Steves airs across the country and has spawned a popular podcast. Rick has also created a series of audio walking tour podcasts for museums and neighborhoods in Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice, London and Athens.

Rick self-published the first edition of his travel skills book, Europe Through the Back Door (now updated annually), in 1980. He has also written more than 50 other country, city and regional guidebooks, phrase books, and "snapshot" guides. For several years, Rick Steves' Italy has been the bestselling international guidebook sold in the U.S. In 2009, Rick tackled a new genre of travel writing with Travel as a Political Act, reflecting on how a life of travel has broadened his own perspectives, and travel can be a significant force for peace and understanding in the world. Rick's books are published by Avalon Travel, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

In addition to his guidebooks, TV and radio work, Rick is a syndicated newspaper columnist with the Tribune Media Services. He appears frequently on television, radio, and online as the leading authority on European travel.

Rick took his first trip to Europe in 1969, visiting piano factories with his father, a piano importer. By the time he reached 18, Rick jokes, "I realized I didn't need my parents to travel!" He began traveling on his own, funding his trips by teaching piano lessons. In 1976, he started Europe Through the Back Door (ETBD), a business which has grown from a one-man operation to a company with a well-traveled staff of 80 full-time employees. ETBD offers free travel information through its travel center, website, European Railpass Guide, and free travel newsletters. ETBD also runs a successful European tour program with more than 450 departures — attracting around 12,000 travelers — annually.

Rick is outspoken on the need for Americans to fit better into our planet by broadening their perspectives through travel. He is also committed to his own neighborhood. He's an active member of the Lutheran church (and has hosted the ELCA's national video productions). He's a board member of NORML (The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). And Rick has provided his local YWCA with a 24-unit apartment building with which to house homeless mothers.

Rick Steves spends about a third of every year in Europe, researching guidebooks, filming TV shows, and making new discoveries for travelers. Rick was divorced in March, 2010. He lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.

 

Fact Sheet

Description:

Rick takes us beyond Europe to Iran, a place that's rich with history...and mystery. Visiting Tehran, Shiraz, Persepolis, and a small village, we'll get a rare present-day look at some of civilization's most important historical sites, and a sense of Iran's 21st-century culture. From architecture and art to faith and everyday living, "Rick Steves' Iran, Yesterday and Today" offers a rare, candid, and humanizing look at a powerful and perplexing nation.

Program Information:

*SD Feed:

  • RISI 000 SD-Base Revision 001
  • Sunday, January 11, 2009
  • 1800-1900/HD03 (formerly DT3A)

*HD Feeds:

  • RISI 000 HD-Base Revision 001
  • Sunday, January 11, 2009
  • 1500-1600ET /SD05 (formerly /511)

 

Download Promotional Media

Here you will find everything you will need to make your promotion of Rick Steves' Iran as visually pleasing as the grand site of Persepolis. If you would like assistance in downloading these images, or prefer another format, please email Ashley Sytsma or call 425-608-4293.

Rick Steves' Iran Previews:

Two different Rick Steves' Iran previews are available for download. You can imbed these Flash video (.flv) directly on your public television website.

High-resolution photos

The files are all 300 dpi JPEGs saved with the highest quality compression. To download images, please click on the image you want below. Once the image finishes loading, right-click on it and choose "Save Link As..." (or "Save Target As..." in Internet Explorer).

Filming on location in Persepolis

Producer Simon Griffith, cameraman Karel Bauer, and Rick Steves finish a day of shooting in Persepolis. Download image.

Esfahan's Imam Mosque

Esfahan's great Imam Mosque is both a tourist attraction and a vibrant place of worship. Download image.

A couple visiting Persepolis

Locals visit Persepolis to connect with and celebrate their impressive cultural roots. Download image.

Rick Steves is introduced to fine poetry books in Iran

In a bookstore, a woman patiently shows Rick fine poetry books. Download image.

Village girls pose with Rick Steves in Iran

Welcoming travelers is a traditional Muslim value...and being American makes you the most popular kid in the village. Download image.

Rick Steves poses with Iranian teenagers.

The most treasured sourvenir of a trip to Iran: memories of its people. Download image.

Iranian school girls in pink garments.

School girls stop to smile for the camera. Download image.

Tehran skyline

Tehran is a mile-high home to 14 million people. Download image.

Tomb of the poet Sadi

At the tomb of the poet Sadi. Download image.

Iranian woman with traffic whizzing by.

Women are covered, yet beautiful...a wisp of hair can be ravishing. Download image.

Young Iranian couple

Young couples share the same basic dreams and aspirations the world over. Download image.

Filming a prayer service

Cameraman Karel Bauer at a prayer service. Download image.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn the answers to those pressing questions your viewers and the media may have about "Rick Steves' Iran".

What is "Rick Steves' Iran" about?

Rick takes viewers beyond Europe to Iran, a place that's rich with history...and mystery. Visiting Tehran, Shiraz, Persepolis, and a small village, viewers will get a rare present-day look at some of civilization's most important historical sites, and a sense of Iran's 21st-century culture. From architecture and art to faith and everyday living, Rick Steves' Iran offers a rare, candid, and humanizing look at a powerful and perplexing nation.

Is "Rick Steves' Iran" political?

No. Rick Steves' Iran is a travel special that explores the historical sites, major cities, small villages, and modern-day people and culture of this country. Viewers will see how the Iranians, three decades into their Islamic Revolution, are living. Rather than deal with the complex political issues that confront our governments, Rick Steves' Iran is a travelogue designed to introduce Americans to some of the faces and places of this proud nation of 70 million people.

Why did Rick decide to produce a travel special on Iran?

Rick believes Iran is a poorly understood country. And during a time of tension between the US and Iran, Rick believes that, while there are no easy solutions to the problems facing our two countries, surely getting to know more about this culture is a step in the right direction.

Who paid for the production of "Rick Steves' Iran"? Did he receive money from the government?

Rick paid for all of the expenses himself. He did not receive funds from the Iranian or US governments.