The men and women featured on the American Heroes Channel’s new series would deny they belong on any show with the word “heroes” attached.
The show’s subjects are humble to a fault, but viewers will disagree once they spend time getting to know them.
Saving Heroes, premiering on Discovery’s American Heroes Channel at 9 a.m. EST July 26, spotlights the efforts of police officers, first responders, military veterans and ordinary citizens who risked their lives to save others. In turn, the show tries to thank them in creative and helpful ways.
Show producer Rudy Vegliante says the nation began appreciating these heroes anew after the devastation of 9/11, a day that reminded the country of their sacrifices.
“As the years have progressed, you’re not hearing about their stories as much any more,” he says.
Saving Heroes hopes to change that.
The show doesn’t dwell on the subjects’ limitations. Some Heroes have lost limbs in combat. Others are grappling with personal issues. Instead, it celebrates their strengths and focuses on their brighter tomorrows.
Co-host Darian Boyle says the soldiers who suffered severe injuries cling to optimism and a love of country.
“When you talk to them [they say] they’d go back to do it again,” Boyle says, but they also focus on making their lives richer despite scars that won’t heal.
“They’ve created their new normal,” she adds.
Another Heroes episode will showcase two high school students who interrupted their school commute to save three people trapped in a blazing home.
“They’re two of the loveliest, boys, the most humble boys you’ve ever met. Their parents raised them well,” she says. “There’s a hero in everyone.”
The challenge, at times, was getting the “heroes” in question to share their stories.
“Not one of them sees themselves as a hero … they all shy away from the spotlight,” Vegliante says. “In some cases it was difficult even getting them to talk about it.”
Vegliante says the show proved a hard sell initially. Several channels appeared reluctant to embrace its approach.
“Feel good shows don’t work,” they told him.
Boyle, for one, is grateful to be part of the project no matter how many people tune in.
“It’s feel-good, inspirational TV the family can watch together,” Boyle says. “It’s good to have positive TV. We need that.”