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Airing on Cox Cable in 2001-2002.

Thhis show is no longer on cable, and we would like to thank our former viewers for their support!


  • Story appeared in the SHOW section
  • on page TV
  • ID: 2001035035
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    OF O.C.'S BEST

    Sunday, February 4, 2001


    With an office above Pacific Coast Highway and a back yard where Capistrano swallows chatter and swoop low overhead, Christina Duane says she is constantly faced with images of Orange County.

    Last week, television viewers in 25 Orange County cities got a chance to see them, too, with the debut of Duane's ``The Gold Coast,'' a 30-minute Cox Cable program focused on county history and culture.

    Duane, 38, said she hopes the show will educate viewers and help strengthen community ties by highlighting notable people and places -- the famous ones, but especially those that are often overlooked.

    ``There's no place better than this,'' said Duane, nodding toward the view of Dana Point through her office window.

    ``I want people to celebrate the blessing of living here. That's the bottom line.''

    Duane said she thinks the show will appeal to adults who have lived in Orange County or are interested in its culture and compared it with documentaries seen on PBS and the Discovery Channel.

    A new episode of ``The Gold Coast'' will air on Cox Cable Channels 31 and 96 each month. The first show features the House of Photographic Arts in San Juan Capistrano, where director Maryanne Charis and host tour the 2-year-old gallery's Marilyn Monroe exhibit.

    Charis said she hopes the show will spark interest in the $2 million photograph collection and entice curious residents to the county's southern cities.

    ``San Juan Capistrano seems like it's the edge of the world to a lot of people, but really it's just down the street,'' she said.

    Duane said the House of Photographic Arts isn't the only place residents and visitors tend to miss and plans to highlight others.

    ``People perceive California as a crowded Mecca of entertainment, beaches and surfing,'' Duane said. ``People aren't as aware of the little hidden places in Orange County. You have to seek them out.''

    Some of those places include the Ocean Institute in Dana Point and the Orange County Bird of Prey Center in Lake Forest, to be featured this year, she said.

    But audiences should also get a sense of the region's history, and that means visits to better-known locales, Duane said.

    ``You feel more of a connection with the past,'' she said. ``It makes your California identity more rooted.''


    Mission San Juan Capistrano will be the focus of next month's show, in which Duane will discuss the mission's history along with current happenings, like the Fiesta Parade.

    She said she is especially excited about a segment on the swallows that will offer up-close shots of nesting grounds.

    Public television's Huell Howser has secured similar footage for use on his well-known California-themed show, she said.

    About 500,000 people travel to the mission every year, but Tammye Dunn, of the visitors center, said too many people take it for granted.

    She said she hopes the new show will excite interest in the mission's history and significance.

    ``We want people to recognize the mission as the birthplace of Orange County,'' Dunn said. ``We're hoping for more exposure.''

    Besides a history lesson, Duane said she thinks the episode will give viewers a taste of California's European side with its look at neighborhoods surrounding the mission.

    ``With the cafes and all the bougainvillea hanging, it has a very continental feel,'' she said.

    While she values its history and culture, Duane said what she appreciates most about Orange County is its community.

    After the failure of her 16-year marriage left her devastated, Duane said she found relief in the people and surroundings of San Juan Capistrano.

    ``I rebuilt my life here,'' she said.

    She said she will try to help others needing relief by featuring panel discussions on topics such as health and grief management. These will appear in at least three episodes.

    Duane said she decided about four years ago to produce the television show and has outlined enough episodes fill the rest of the year.

    Each will open with a montage of Orange County scenes, from folklorico dancers at the mission, to families enjoying a day at the beach.

    Her ideas come from a lifetime of enjoying Orange County, she said.

    She said she remembers frequent childhood visits to beaches and nature preserves and annual trips to San Juan Capistrano for Swallows Day.

    She has tried to share these experiences with her four children, and now wants to broadcast them to as many as 233,000 cable viewers, she said, adding that she plans to film and produce ``The Gold Coast'' until she retires. Duane pays Cox to air the show, but would not disclose the amount.

    ``There's still so much to get to,'' Duane said. ``Ideas are in my face all the time. It'll take me a while to exhaust all my favorite places.''

    ``The Gold Coast'' airs Saturdays at 11 a.m., Tuesdays at 6 p.m. and Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. on Channel 31 and Saturdays and Sundays at 5:30 p.m. on Channel 96.

    Contact Torres at (714) 240-6439 or

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