New Shows Coming To Travel Channel: Portals to Hell, Mission Declassified & America Unearthed

Travel Channel's latest lineup includes three compelling new series zeroing in on the unsolved, the unexplained, the uncovered and the haunted. Hosts include TV personality (and son of Ozzy) Jack Osbourne, award-winning investigative journalist Christof Putzel and forensic geologist Scott Wolter. Look for them starting this March.

February 12, 2019
By: David L. Haynes

Portals To Hell hosts Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman investigate the Emerald Hill Mansion in Monongahela, Pennsylvania.

Photo by: Gilles Mingasson

Gilles Mingasson

Portals To Hell hosts Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman investigate the Emerald Hill Mansion in Monongahela, Pennsylvania.

Portals to Hell

Maybe you know Jack Osbourne as the younger sibling in the iconic MTV reality series The Osbournes – starring alongside his dad (and Black Sabbath vocalist) Ozzy, his mom Sharon and sister Kelly. It was a groundbreaking series in the reality genre, bringing a wry and original twist to the then-relatively-new format. These days, though, Jack is breaking new ground as a TV producer and reporter, sometimes delving into subject matter that reaches well outside the mainstream. He has appeared in Nat Geo’s Surviving the Apocalypse, SyFy’s Haunted Highway and A&E Network’s Ozzy & Jack’s World Adventure, among others.

Now, teaming up with paranormal researcher and investigator Katrina Weidman, Jack’s part of a new Travel Channel series, Portals to Hell. In it, Jack and Katrina explore and investigate locations known as the sites of some of the world’s most notorious hauntings and – in particular – those purported to have a connection to a spirit underworld. It's a quest to get at the truth regarding locations believed by some to be doorways into alternate and supernatural realms.

In each of the eight hour-long episodes, Osbourne and Weidman investigate a different historical site, examining unusual incidents while utilizing specialized technology and a network of experts to help document and uncover the truth. The quest takes the duo to New Orleans’ infamous LaLaurie Mansion – where they are the first and only paranormal team to ever investigate the disturbing hauntings within its walls. Other featured locations with reputations for the creepy and supernatural include Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania, the Alaskan Hotel in Juneau and the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in West Virginia.

Portals to Hell premieres on Travel Channel on Friday, April 26 at 10p|9c.

Mission Declassified

For nearly 20 years, award-winning investigative journalist Christof Putzel has traveled the world uncovering some of the most hard-hitting stories of our contemporary times. He has exposed neo-Nazi attacks against immigrants in Russia, illegal American weapons sales to Mexican drug cartels, the tobacco industry’s exploitation of children in Asia, and children used to mine gold in deadly labor camps in Congo. In each case he has used declassified government documents and key sources to bring shocking and important stories to light. In Travel Channel’s Mission Declassified, Putzel uses his investigative tools and instincts to explore some of history's most notorious and speculated-upon mysteries.

Christof Putzel, investigative journalist and host of Mission Declassified.

Christof Putzel, investigative journalist and host of Mission Declassified.

In each hour-long episode, Putzel explores and reveals new information from a famous unsolved case, delving into recently declassified documents and tracking missed clues and connections that may finally unlock decades-long mysteries surrounding legendary cold cases. Among them:

“Escape from Alcatraz” (premiering March 24 at 10pm ET/PT) follows Putzel as he traverses two continents in a search for clues to the fate – and possibly the whereabouts – of the three prisoners who escaped from the famed prison in 1962. Reports at the time were that the escapees died in the frigid waters of San Francisco Bay, but recently revealed FBI files indicate otherwise.

“The Lindbergh Kidnapping” (premiering April 7 at 10pm ET/PT) is a story that’s particularly close to Putzel. His grandfather, Samuel Blackman, was the investigative reporter who broke the story of the kidnapping and killing of aviator Charles Lindbergh’s baby in 1932 and followed the story until the execution of convicted kidnapper, Bruno Richard Hauptmann. Nearly 90 years later, Christof revisits and investigates the “The Crime of the Century”. Using his grandfather’s notes and declassified FBI files, he tracks surprising new leads to Germany and the Nazi Party.

Clearly intense curiosity and investigative reporting is something deeply ingrained in the person Christof Putzel. Aside from the fame and reputation surrounding his grandfather, his father was chief White House correspondent for the Associated Press during the 1970s as well as a Vietnam correspondent, and his mother was a reporter at Time magazine. Christof's work represents true and disciplined American journalism – exactly what’s needed when digging deep for the real truth behind a story.

Mission Declassified premieres on Travel Channel on Sunday, March 24 at 10pm ET/PT.

America Unearthed

Scott Wolter, forensic geologist and host of America Unearthed.

Scott Wolter, forensic geologist and host of America Unearthed.

In the world of forensic geologist Scott Wolter, America is, among other things, a burial ground for the secrets of our past. Uncovered artifacts and surprising finds can offer up opportunities to discover a hidden history of our country – one that we don’t know.

Wolter begins with the underlying supposition that some of the history we’ve been taught is wrong, and he then goes on a scientifically based mission to prove it. America Unearthed, now coming to Travel Channel, allows him the perfect venue to do just that. Travel Channel has acquired the previous three seasons comprising 39 episodes, and the network will premiere a fourth season with 10 new one-hour episodes this summer.

Fans of the long-running A&E series know that Wolter has made something of a life’s work out of diving into the distant past and looking for hidden truths that individuals or entities may have gone to great lengths to cover up. Travel Channel is breathing new life into the popular series, updating the format for its new network home and allowing Wolter to continue his quest to find out what really happened with respect to some of history’s compelling mysteries and, in some cases, actually set the historic record straight.

As a researcher and investigator, Wolter’s credentials and credits are impressive. In addition to investigating and dating ancient artifacts, Wolter has been involved in some high-profile modern investigations as well. His work includes analyzing fire damage at the Pentagon after the September 11th terrorist attacks and helping the Las Vegas police investigate a homicide where a victim was found buried in concrete.

The new series premieres on Travel Channel on Tuesday, May 28 at 10p|9c.

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