Wednesday, November 5th, 2014


One Hour Special Chronicles Opening Day of Legendary Pheasant Hunting Season in South Dakota

Brokaw Returns to Native State To Share and Showcase Annual Outdoor Sports Tradition

Stamford, Conn – November 5, 2014 – Opening Day with Tom Brokaw, a one hour special which chronicles Opening Day of South Dakota’s legendary pheasant hunting season, will debut on Wednesday, November 19 at 11 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Brokaw, one of the greatest storytellers of his generation, returns to his home state of South Dakota to take viewers through the hunting fields and introduce them to the people that highlight every third Saturday in October. Brokaw has been attending Opening Day for more than 25 years.

Opening Day will invite viewers inside a unique and cherished sporting and cultural experience, and a very personal part of Tom’s life,” said Mark Levy, Senior Vice President, Original Productions and Creative, NBC Sports Group. “Tom is the perfect guide for this compelling story, through interviews with friends, new acquaintances and those who make the journey to Opening Day every season.”

“Opening Day of pheasant hunting season in South Dakota is more than a tradition, it’s a major cultural and economic event,” said Brokaw. “Opening Day is a project I have wanted to do and share with viewers for many years.”

Opening Day segments include:

  • Mitchell, South Dakota: Brokaw takes viewers to Mitchell, South Dakota for one of the sport’s biggest social events of the year, the Pheasants Forever banquet. Featuring more than 600 hunters from across the United States, Brokaw introduces viewers to a collection of participants who all celebrate many different relationships and experiences that are directly tied to the annual tradition of Opening Day in South Dakota.
  • Paul Nelson Farm: Opening Day examines the origins of South Dakota as the pheasant hunting capital, a $200 million dollar business in the state. Opening Day also highlights the places, people and practices that manage the pheasant population. Brokaw gives viewers a tour of the historic and exclusive Paul Nelson Farm, and speaks with United States Senator John Thune, from South Dakota, and award-winning outdoor sports author, host and producer Chris Dorsey.
  • Opening Day: Cameras join Brokaw and a cast of other hunters as they go through their final Opening Day preparations and out into the field. Brokaw is joined by some of his closest friends and hunting partners, including cable television pioneer and outdoorsman Ted Turner. Viewers are also introduced to a father-and-son team who are hunting together for the very first time.

Opening Day is one of a series of specials and documentaries that Brokaw has collaborated on with NBC Sports and Olympics. Most recently, Brokaw worked with NBC Sports Group on Space Race, which aired within NBC’s coverage of the Sochi Olympics and chronicled the Cold War space race that took place between the United States and the Soviet Union. Additional projects include Their Finest Hour, which aired during the London Olympics, and Operation Yellow Ribbon, which aired during the Vancouver Games.

Opening Day is produced by Jim Thompson, Mark Levy, Senior Vice President, Original Productions and Creative, NBC Sports Group; and Joe Gesue, Senior Vice President, Production, NBC Olympics and Executive Editor NBC Sports Group.