DETAILS: Mike Wants To Know…

What You Do For a Living

by Ginger Rue

It’s been a busy few years for Mike Rowe. After doing nearly every distasteful job imaginable for eight seasons on Dirty Jobs, he formed mikeroweWORKS, a foundation that provides scholarships to trade schools, and launched Profoundly Disconnected, a PR campaign to promote skilled labor as a necessary and lucrative alternative to college. Now he’s back on CNN with Somebody’s Gotta Do It, premiering October 8th. On a recent Sunday afternoon, Mike took a break from writing his new show’s theme song to relax at home in San Francisco and re-read his favorite novels (John MacDonald’s Travis McGee series). He bookmarked just long enough to tell us about his newest project and his favorite opera … and to explain why style and fashion are two entirely different matters.

DETAILS: Tell us about your new show: What’s the format, and when and where can we see it?

MIKE ROWE: Somebody’s Gotta Do It is a good-natured look at regular people doing a thing they truly love, presented with no added bullshit: No second takes, no contrived moments. For this reason, it was a very tough sell. Non-fiction TV is in a very different place than it was when I sold Dirty Jobs. Today, the Ducks have a Dynasty, The Amish have a Mafia, and Honey’s got a Boo Boo. And each of those shows have writers’ rooms. Point is, it’s nearly impossible to do a one-hour show that’s truly unscripted, and frankly, the only executives I spoke with who weren’t freaked out by the uncertainty of that format work at CNN. I pitched the idea to Jeff Zucker on his first day at work. He asked me what I needed, and I said, “Jet fuel, a small crew, and an hour of prime time.” He said, “When can you start?” We debut October 8th at 9 pm. For the love of God, please watch.

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