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'Water' on the air

September 02, 2005|By: Lindsay Sandham

Recognizing that many people are afflicted with a passion for the

nautical lifestyle, and that there is no television programming

specifically for them, Gregg Baum and his stepbrother Chip Plested

created "Water on the Brain."

The television show, which features boat owners exploring the

waters, will premiere Sunday at 7:30 a.m. on Channel 3 of Cox

Communications cable systems.

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Two years ago, Baum asked Plested what kind of TV show he would

create if he had the opportunity. Plested said he would love to do a

boating-oriented show portraying the obsessive behavior and intense

dedication of boaters. After doing some research, the brothers -- who

grew up sailing in Newport Harbor -- discovered nothing like it

existed. They also thought the audience was there for this type of

programming.

Baum said more than 75 million Americans spent $300 billion on

boating last year, making it one of the nation's favorite pastimes.

He added that half the population of the United States lives within

50 miles of a coastline.

The brothers borrowed some family money and brought in friends

Travis Milloy and Eric Howell -- who have backgrounds in the

filmmaking industry and live in Los Angeles -- to help them produce

the show.

They have shot four half-hour episodes; each will air three times

during the 12-week trial run on Cox.

"What we're looking for is to attract the attention of the big

networks or corporate sponsors," said Baum, a resident of Aliso

Viejo. "When we started, we couldn't get anybody's attention because

we didn't have anything to show for it."

Howell said it would be the ideal show for a boat manufacturer to

sponsor, since the vessel is as much a character in the show as the

owner.

The first episode will feature former Indy race car driver Dick

Simon, who lives on a boat with his wife.

Subsequent episodes feature Ron Songrath, founder of Southern

California Offshore Powerboat Elite, Marshall "Duffy" Duffield,

inventor of the electric Duffy boat, and Roger Pechuls, a semiretired

business executive.

Baum said there are no plans to shoot any more episodes until they

can get corporate sponsorship, even though they have no shortage of

story ideas.

For all four creators, the ultimate goal is to make a full-time

career out of "Water on the Brain." For the last two years, they have

been working overtime, maintaining their regular jobs while filming

and editing the show on the side.

"Gregg and I have been fortunate that Travis and Eric have the

passion and share the passion," Plested said. "Anybody who owns a

boat and loves boating will relate to this show."

* LINDSAY SANDHAM is the news assistant. She can be reached at

(714) 966-4625 or o7lindsay.sandham@latimes.comf7.

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