ELYRIA — A well-known Elyria family is about to share its faces, names and a portion of its life together with a potential audience of millions of cable and satellite TV viewers.
But the family of Dan Reaser won’t be relying on beards or ducks for their appeal.
“We love the comparisons to ‘Duck Dynasty,’ because we believe our show promotes and believes in a similar message about families that spend time together and work to help and support not only each other, but those around them,” Pat Doyle, a Nashville, Tenn., resident who serves as executive producer for “The Outdoor Option,” a new weekly show focusing on the outdoors, hunting and fishing, and good stewardship of the land and wildlife.
The 13-episode weekly series is set to debut at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 4 on the Sportsman Channel and 9:30 p.m. Jan. 6 on the Pursuit Channel.
Both channels are available on satellite’s Direct TV and DISH Network, while Sportsman Channel is carried by Time Warner Cable.
The format of the show sees dad Dan Reaser, owner of Elyria’s American Hood Systems, joining his son Danny, now 21, a former Elyria Catholic football standout, and daughter Shannon, 16, a current athlete on the EC volleyball team, as they travel around the country to showcase the beauty of nature while sharing quality time together hunting and fishing.
“We want to show people that it’s cool to spend time outdoors with family and friends,” Danny Reaser, the show’s chief branding officer, said.
Shot in full HD with Go-Pro cameras and other cutting-edge equipment, the show has a slick look and solid production values as evidenced by clips of the program the family shared.
“It doesn’t look like a first-year show,” Doyle said.
Produced by Dannyboy Productions, a local company founded by Dan Reaser, the series has made extensive use of state-of-the-art TV production and editing facilities and broadcast media and arts and humanities students at Lorain County Community College.
The elder Reaser, who has served on the LCCC Foundation board, said the college will host a big “Outdoor Option” premiere party 3 to 5 p.m. Jan. 5 inside Stocker Arts Center.
“They expect 400 to 500 people,” Dan Reaser said. “They’re really going all-out for us.”
Unlike some outdoors shows that concentrate on “getting the biggest buck or trophy hunting,” according to Dan Reaser, “The Outdoor Option” is as much about the bonding and memories built among the family during their treks to hunt turkeys in Tennessee, elk in Colorado, deer in Kentucky or fishing for trout in Colorado.
Both Dan and Danny Reaser talked about major decisions each made based on their lifelong passion and respect for wildlife and the outdoors.
Dan Reaser worked for a time many years ago at Moen Inc. before leaving to eventually start his American Hood Systems, which produces and sells exhaust hoods, fans and fire suppression systems to restaurants and other businesses.
“I work to hunt and fish,” Reaser said. “I knew I had to be in business for myself to have the flexibility I wanted.”
As for his son, who holds every Elyria Catholic passing record, Danny Reaser opted to pass on football scholarships at Indiana University and West Virginia University to stay home, pursue a business degree at LCCC, and have the time to continue hunting and fishing with his family.
“I lived and breathed football 24-7 in high school, but when it came to college and I realized how much of your life is taken away (to achieve success), I knew that was not the road I want to go down,” Danny Reaser said.
“Now I get to sit in a tree stand at first light and watch the sun come up,” the younger Reaser said.
In fact, the program’s title was taken from Reaser’s “option read” offense in high school.
A varsity EC cheerleader and soccer player, Shannon has four bucks to her credit, each being taken in a different state.
“I get to do this with my best friend,” Shannon said, referring to her older brother.
The program also has a segment detailing dad’s bagging of a black bear with a crossbow.
And unlike some programs that stage sequences for dramatic effect — especially those built around explosive confrontations or petty bickering — there’s no squabbling or hysterics by anyone.
Looking to stress good wildlife management, the series points out most of the deer harvested wind up on dinner tables of needy families, with local homes selected by Second Harvest Food Bank.
The series also promotes catch-and-release for fishing.
Still, the family expects some blowback from those opposed to hunting.
“As outdoorsmen we’ve dealt with that all our lives,” Dan Reaser said. “But we’ve had very little negative feedback so far.”
With reruns, the show is expected to be aired eight times each week to a potential audience of 76 million households between the Sportsman and Pursuit channels.
And there are discussions under way that could lead to the program being seen in millions more households over Canada’s Wild TV Channel, Reaser said.