Photo: Opportunity Knock$ on PBS via the Buckeye Flame
Juliette and Hannah from season one of Opportunity Knock$
This story was originally published by the Buckeye Flame and republished here with permission.
, the acclaimed pro-LGBTQ+, unscripted television series broadcast nationally on PBS, is casting individuals and families in Columbus.
“Appearing in the series is a unique opportunity for people to break through financial hardship to achieve their dreams,” shared LGBTQ activist, executive producer, Jenn George Hunter. “The LGBTQ+ community has experienced greater incidents of financial discrimination and even homelessness, which is why the series’ inclusion of relatable LGBTQ+ stories is so important to me.”
Queer Money and Channel Q have highlighted the series and cast because of the impact. Former NBC Today Show star Jean Chatzky will coach individuals cast as Opportunity Knock$ shoots Season Two in Columbus, November 2023 to March 2024. Chatzky coached Hannah and Juliette, a married lesbian couple with a toddler daughter from Philadelphia in Season One.
Producers developed the series understanding that systemic barriers leave too many LGBTQ+ people struggling to get ahead. “Our message is financial inclusion is more critical than financial education,” explained series creator, Jamie Strayer, an Ohio native and graduate of Ohio State University who now resides in Seattle. “Too many people are being financially oppressed.”
Opportunity Knock$ won a Silver Telly for Best Reality Television Series with its innovative, experiential approach combining technology and storytelling to change the lives of viewers at home. Showrunner Prime-Time Emmy nominee Brian Spoor, with big hits under his belt including Undercover Billionaire and 90 Day Fiancé, signed up to direct and executive produce Opportunity Knock$ with Strayer and Hunter because its social values run counter to some standard exploitative reality TV.
The series features a search tool, "The Opportunity Finder," which over 50,000 viewers at home have used to replicate the success of families in the show. Season One featured the cast connecting with local non-profits, social services and not-for-profit credit unions that changed the course of their lives. A nonbinary, single parent who was once homeless due to their sexuality became a U.S. citizen and saved their home from foreclosure and a lesbian couple eliminated the wealth draining clutches of overdraft fees in Season One.
“The Opportunity Finder” is designed to level the playing field by helping individuals to make and keep more of their own money, and to overcome the many challenges that compound keeping people stuck in cycles of debt. The search tool has 20,000 nonprofits loaded across the country, including those specializing in LGBTQ+ services. “Beyond applying to be cast, we encourage LGBTQ+ nonprofits to register to appear in the finder,” said Hunter. “Everyone deserves safe places and inclusion.”
Season One was broadcast on WOSU and is airing/streaming on PBS stations, PBS.org, and PBS Passport. Season Two will be filmed in the greater Columbus region, in addition to Washington D.C., Seattle, WA, El Paso, TX, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans, LA.
Interested individuals in the Greater Columbus Region can apply by October 4, 2023 on the show’s website: www.opportunityknocks.net
LGBTQ+ details on producers and Season One cast can be found here
and the show’s Social Justice Values can be found here