‘Riggo on the Range’ set for debut on TSC
WINCHESTER — Though few people have seen the first episode of “Riggo on the Range,” nearly 60,000 already “Like” it.
The locally produced outdoor television show featuring NFL Hall of Famer John Riggins will debut in its primary time slot at 11:30 a.m. Saturday on The Sportsman Channel (TSC). Each 30-minute episode airs for the first time at 3:30 a.m. on Wednesdays and repeats at 6 a.m. on Thursdays.
The show is produced by 44 Outdoors Inc., the company Riggins and city resident Art Major formed (44 was Riggins’ uniform number). It is headquartered in the West Commercial Street building that houses Major’s other company, GearClean Inc.
Though the first episode has only aired twice in the early morning hours, it already is one of TSC’s most popular shows based on one measure.
The cable network’s website features a webpage for 89 different shows it airs, and most pages have a spot where fans can “Like” the show, Facebook-style. The page for “Riggo on the Range” (thesportsmanchannel.com/programming/descriptions/description.php?ID=556) had 59,623 “Likes” as of 4 p.m. Thursday, more than all but five of the network’s shows.
“People are obviously very excited about it coming on,” Major said Wednesday. “There’s been a lot of buzz recently throughout the industry about the show.”
Riggins, who played for the Washington Redskins for nine years and New York Jets for five years during his professional football career, hunts wild game on the show and cooks his quarry. He’ll often be joined by friends — including former NFL players and former Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback — on the hunts.
Major said the show got a big boost in November when the NFL Network featured Riggins in its “A Football Life” series. The network shot footage of an episode of “Riggo on the Range” being recorded and included it in the biography.
The Redskins’ surprising success this year also has helped the show, Major said.
Major, a former member of Winchester City Council, is the show’s executive producer, and Berryville’s James Montgomery is its senior production manager.
According to TSC’s website, the maiden episode features Riggins hunting whitetail deer with a crossbow on land he owns in his hometown of Centralia, Kan., and grilling the venison.
Major said five of the first season’s 13 episodes have been delivered to the network, and five more are being edited.
44 Outdoors is responsible for arranging sponsors for the show, and some have signed on. However, Major said the company ceased its marketing effort temporarily in hopes that good ratings will draw interest and increase its bargaining position.
— Contact Vic Bradshaw email@example.com