LUTZ, Fla. (WFLA) – A Lutz couple with a local production company are heading to see all America has to offer in their new Discovery Channel series titled “RV There Yet?”
Kevin McCabe started McCabe Productions, Inc. in 1991 after moving to Tampa and graduating from the University of South Florida with a television production degree.
He met his wife, Patrice, at a Tampa Bay Lightning game and she began working for McCabe Productions on the “front office” side of things, as she describes it.
They have worked on a successful fishing show called “Addictive Fishing” for over 20 years, which airs on the Discovery Channel and Bally Sports Sun.
Their relationship with the channel through the show sparked an idea for Kevin during the coronavirus pandemic. He said boating ramps were shut down, leaving the production of Addictive Fishing to pause and the couple nervous.
“I’ve never really been in a situation that it [the show] could be taken away from us. So I started to think of what could be, and that’s when RVs hit me, that RVs are gonna be crazy because we can contain ourselves in our own RV and it really started to take off,” he said.
He asked representatives with Discovery Channel about it when he and his wife met with them in person.
“Yeah, we’re sitting at the table and we’re done securing the air time for the fishing show and all of a sudden [Kevin] goes, ‘hey, what do you think about a RV show? What if we came to you with a RV show? And I was just like, trying to keep my face straight, and in the back of my mind, I’m just going ‘what the heck is he talking about?” Patrice said.
The couple had always been “RVers” due to travel for Addictive Fishing, as well as for fun.
Discovery Channel asked when they could see a pilot episode, so the McCabes packed up to film in the Shenandoah Valley.
When Discovery Channel loved what they had done, production was greenlit.
The “RV There Yet?” crew consisted of two freelance cameramen, a drone pilot and photographer, in addition to Kevin and Patrice, as well as a third host and his wife.
The show is a view of both national parks and state parks from their eyes. Patrice said they handle filming for their show just like they would handle a visit or trip.
“I would say it is a road trip to go explore America. It’s gonna be told from our perspective, RVers. We drive there. We camp there. We try and go find fun,” she said.
While the plot for the show began with national parks, Patrice explained state parks are like “hidden gems” across the country and something they will be focusing on more in the future, as national parks already get a lot of attention and are busy with people.
“We get to see America and we get to meet rangers and small business owners and American people that have a great story to tell and a great business and things to do,” Patrice said.
“We really want to support states, small business. We’re probably going to do a ‘Made in America’ segment, which is small mom and pop companies within these states,” Kevin added.
In the six episodes of season one of “RV There Yet?”, Florida is featured in two.
The couple visited Fort DeSoto State Park for the show, a place they have been many times, but still learned something new, just as viewers will.
“We have been there so many times, but I had never really talked to a ranger to know the history. So being able to tell the history of one of our local parks was really fantastic,” said Kevin.
Though only two episodes have aired so far, the McCabes said they have been getting a lot of attention, to the point they are looking to hire another production company to help them with a potential season two, so they can focus on being in front of the camera.
“So now we just got contacted by another network out in California. So it’s really starting to take off. I mean, we’ve only aired two episodes and we’re amazed at how much we’re on social media now, everyday,” Kevin said. “She spent all day yesterday after the show that was on Nebraska, answering emails and Facebook posts and things from Nebraska.”