Jake Sasseville, 20-Year-Old Host and TV Producer, Takes Show on the Road to Africa

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Jake Sasseville, the 20-year-old TV talkmiester and producer of "The Edge with Jake Sasseville" has tapped into the help of MTV producers, The United Nations and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's), and is taking his show on-location across the world - to Africa. Sasseville and his crew depart for Africa in August. They'll be there for one month.

Jake Sasseville, the 20-year-old talk show host and television producer, rarely takes no for an answer. He believes that a truly well-rounded TV show can't be done just from his New York City home base.

So he's taking the show on the road — to Africa.

Sasseville and his crew are gearing up to spend four weeks in Africa at the end of this summer for his television and web series "The Edge with Jake Sasseville." The series, produced by Sasseville's Foot in Mouth, Inc., is a show with the mantra that TV talk for a younger generation should be able to go anywhere, do anything, talk to anyone at anytime. Sasseville decided that Africa was the right place to bring "The Edge."

While in Africa, he plans to visit with local residents so that he may share and experience local culture. He is also scheduled to teach in orphanages and will live in refugee camps. In addition, he'll be traveling around the southern part of the continent and has even scheduled a trip to the war-stricken Democratic Republic of the Congo. He says he wants to find out for himself on behalf of his curious generation what is really going on in Africa and find legitimate ways they can help. Ways to help, he says, beyond just donating money.

"American television audiences see so little from this part of the world, never mind from a 20-year-old's perspective," said Sasseville. "My generation wants to get involved. I want to show them how they can!"

In an odd turn of fortunate events, Amy Emmerich, who first met Sasseville last year at MTVu during his pitch for this idea, is taking time off this summer to accept Sasseville's invitation to produce the series on-location in Africa with him. She and Sasseville's cameraman, filmmaker Ray Pagnucco, are receiving logistical support from the United Nations' World Food Program in South Africa and the FORGE Program in Zambia.

Emmerich is currently a senior supervising producer for the MTV cable network. Pagnucco is the producer of "God's Open Hand," the documentary that opened in New York City on May 5.

As Sasseville is ending his sophomore year at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, he continues to be in on-going discussions with various distribution outlets to underwrite the project. "I didn't want this project to stall because of not having distribution," he said. "Amy, Ray and I put our Visa Cards on the line. This is going to be some of the most compelling, edgy and interesting material to come out of the African continent! When there is a high quality product and a lucrative demographic, so too will there be distribution," he said.

Meanwhile, Sasseville and his other production team continue to work around the clock to launch his TV talk series into regional syndication. He's cleared the show in five of the top-10 television markets in the country, however because of issues with financing, has had to re-negotiate with the affiliates. He plans to launch the show regionally sometime before the end of the year.

Said Sasseville, "There's a lot happening here. It feels great to be 20!"

BACKGROUND: Jake Sasseville began "The Edge with Jake Sasseville" on local access TV in Maine in 2001. He and his friends put together what they thought their generation wanted to see on television. In 2003, Adam Barr, the former co-Executive Producer of "Will and Grace" invited 17-year-old Sasseville out to Los Angeles to have the cast of of NBC's "Will and Grace" on "The Edge." After traveling to LA, Sasseville self-syndicated his show to Fox affiliates and sold record breaking amounts of advertising revenue. He moved the show to New York City where he now lives, works and attends school. His philanthropic work is focused primarily around children, cancer and poverty.

Contact: Peter Buttenwieser, ib4e Management, 212-254-0522

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