‘Growing Bolder’ Season 8 Focuses on Bonus Years


“Growing Bolder” returns for an eighth season to PBS TV stations across Florida beginning this weekend. The new 10-episode season shines a light on the amazing possibilities available in a new life stage that never existed before – the decades many are experiencing after age 50. Season 8 includes well-known names from the world of sports, music, and the arts. As always, “Growing Bolder” also celebrates everyday people living their best lives creating, connecting and thriving – sometimes against all odds. 

Award-winning hosts Marc Middleton and Bill Shafer are joined by an exceptional team of veteran storytellers, including reporter and author George Diaz; Broadcaster of the Year Amy Sweezey; and former newscaster Secily Wilson, a two-time stroke survivor and motivational speaker. 

“We’re thrilled to return with another season and share stories we believe will empower and inspire our viewers to live boldly,” said Growing Bolder CEO Marc Middleton. 

Several unsung heroes in the Central Florida area are featured this season, including: 

  • Dr. Loretta Ford, the 100-year-old founder of the first nurse practitioner program. 
  • Thomas McClary, founder of the legendary group The Commodores. 
  • Kelly Kowall, the Ruskin mother who created My Warrior’s Place, a retreat center for veterans and first responders, in memory of her son who was killed in Afghanistan. 
  • Several champion masters athletes achieving U.S. records at competitions hosted by the National Senior Games Association based in Clearwater. 

The season also includes powerful, intimate conversations with legendary college football coaches Bobby Bowden, Jimmy Johnson, and Steve Spurrier. The interview with Bowden was one of the last before his death in August.  

Season 8 is set to air as “Growing Bolder” is experiencing tremendous success. A recent, independent report shows the program went from airing in 59% of TV markets nationally in 2019 to 95% in the first half of 2021. 

Selena Lauterer, president of Artemis Independent, which tracks national carriage, attributed the increase to “powerful storytelling” and also credited “the strength of the shows, building on previous seasons, and the public TV core audience appeal.” 

“Growing Bolder” is available through American Public Television and can be seen on WUCF PBS. 

Growing Bolder is a multimedia company based in Orlando, Florida. The company, founded by Emmy-winner Marc Middleton in 2007, includes a TV program carried nationally on PBS stations, a radio program on NPR affiliates, a podcast and a popular lifestyle magazine.

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