9:00am PT by Chris Gardner
New Streaming Service Saltbox TV Targets Seniors
The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly devastating for older populations in the United States, many of whom live in retirement communities and assisted living facilities that have been hit hard by outbreaks and/or forced lockdowns.
Tony- and Grammy-nominated producer Jerry Goehring (Be More Chill) wanted to make sure the demographic was not forgotten, especially when it comes to entertainment, so he rallied a few industry pals to launch the entertainment platform Saltbox TV.
Targeted at older adults with an emphasis on retirement communities, Saltbox TV is designed to be an easily accessible subscription-based streaming service. It is currently free and available to stream on its website.
Goehring says he’s confirmed participation from legendary star Ed Asner as a spokesperson of sorts as well as appearances from David Chase, James Burrows, Doc Severinsen, Henry Winkler, Didi Conn and Jo Marie Payton. Goehring credits wife Patty Carver for inspiring the service as she has a long history performing inside various venues including schools, libraries and senior centers. She was the first to mention how devastating the pandemic could be for the retired set.
Among Saltbox’s offerings: American Legends at Home, a show that features beloved performers sharing stories of their careers and personal lives; Discover Your Faith, a Bible and Torah study program; Stardust Memory Hour, starring Carver in cabaret-style musical tributes; Elder Care Law, an insider’s guide to estate planning, conservatorship, Medicaid planning, and everything in between with attorney Erach F. Screwvala; and Measure for Measure, a musical trivia show.
“We’re starting humbly for the holidays, and it’s free for anyone to watch,” Goehring notes before adjusting his vision for what the future could hold. “If I was going to dream the dream, we would have significant and deep enough programming at six months or six years to have enough people watching that it could stay free and become supported by advertising or sponsors, many of whom neglect this audience. We’re going to let this platform grow and see who comes on to support it and in the meantime, me and my buddies will do it.”
A version of this story first appeared in the Dec. 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.