EXCLUSIVE: Travel Channel Says 'Hello Goodbye' With Touching Airport Docu-Series -- Watch the Emotional Sneak
By Philiana Ng
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Airports are a unique place. Thousands of people pass through each and every day, each with their own story to be told. Travel Channel's new docu-series, Hello Goodbye, aims to tell those stories and turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres, the six-part series -- based on the popular British format -- follows host Curt Menefee as he travels through four busy U.S. airports (Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Chicago and Charlotte), meeting with travelers and tapping into their own untold tales -- from family reunions and surprise proposals to emotional goodbyes and distinct perspectives.
For Menefee, who many may know as host of Fox NFL Sunday, Hello Goodbye was an opportunity to showcase his other passion.
"It's really an extension of who I am as a person and what I do in my own time and space," the 50-year-old television personality told ETonline of his penchant for travel. "It didn't seem like [branching] out to me."
A frequent and avid traveler himself (he estimates he's been to over 80 countries), Menefee jumped at the chance to be a part of the show. The day after finishing his Fox duties for the Super Bowl XLIV in February 2015, Menefee was already hard at work on Day 1 of Hello Goodbye.
For one thing, his experience making the show opened his eyes for the better. In ETonline’s exclusive (and emotional) sneak peek above, Menefee checks in with a couple who reveals they’ll be splitting up for an extended period of time.
"What surprised me somewhat was how open people are," Menefee said. "They're everyday people -- most of them aren't used to doing television interviews. But within a minute or two people really open up about personal issues in their lives."
"The beauty of the show is it's not really anything about travel. It's about overcoming adversity. It's about love. It's about relationships. It's about people," he added. "It's as real as possible but as far away from reality TV as you can possibly believe."
Menefee didn't have conversations with DeGeneres prior to filming, but he praised the 58-year-old for having a keen eye on what worked.
"She just enjoyed what I'd done and some of the stories we had seen, she thought we were taking a perfect approach to," he recalled of their first conversation, adding that following production, DeGeneres and wife Portia De Rossi gave their stamp of approval.
At the end of the day, Menefee said Hello Goodbye highlights just how similar we really are.
"When you talk to people around the world, everyone's looking for the same thing: to provide the best life they possibly can for themselves and their family, to get through every day as well as they can," he said. "But it's that constant need for love that everyone's in search of -- sometimes it's a spouse or a parent or a child or a best friend from college."
Menefee continued: "That bond is what we all seek and that's what keeps us together. It's what keeps us going. That became clear the more you talk to those people and you see why they're there at the airport, whether they're departing or arriving."
Hello Goodbye premieres Monday with back-to-back episodes at 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. ET/PT on Travel Channel.
Earlier this year, Ellen DeGeneres revealed how she wound up yachting with Harry Styles and Kendall Jenner. Press play on the video below to find out more.