“Dirty Jobs” is back on Discovery Channel. Mike Rowe, who hosted the trailblazing series (2003-2012) in which he took a deep (often grimey) dive into everyday occupations, has reunited his old crew for “Dirty Jobs: Rowe’d Trip,” premiering July 7 at 9 p.m. on Discovery. In the four-part series, Rowe and company drive around in …
“Dirty Jobs” is back on Discovery Channel.
Mike Rowe, who hosted the trailblazing series (2003-2012) in which he took a deep (often grimey) dive into everyday occupations, has reunited his old crew for “Dirty Jobs: Rowe’d Trip,” premiering July 7 at 9 p.m. on Discovery.
In the four-part series, Rowe and company drive around in an RV — reminiscing about the series, revisiting classic episodes and reconnecting with memorable “Dirty Jobs” participants.
And there’s a twist: the series was filmed amidst the pandemic.
“We shot it two weeks ago, which was tricky,” Rowe, 58, tells The Post. “I’ve done a lot of Zoom TV over the last four months … but ‘Dirty Jobs’ can’t be a Zoom show. The plan was to go out into the field and pick up where we left off, but COVID made that impossible.
“So we rented an RV and we all got tested and went out into the world,” he says. “We met in the tiny town of Templeton [Calif.], which is about 25 miles inland from Cambria on the Central Coast, rented an Airbnb, checked in for a week and went off on our different adventures — which is code for ‘misadventure.’
“I did most of the behind-the-scenes shooting.”
Rowe was joined by producer David Barsky, cameramen Douglas Gover and Troy Paff and audio technician Chris Jones,, all of whom worked on the original series.
“Over the years we did probaby 25 of these retrospectives — I would pick the theme, safety or the enviroment, for example — and we’d give you the ‘Dirty Jobs’ take on that, with a new set of wraps and looking back at the old episodes,” he says. “This [special] started as that, but we added the reunion component. The [crew] all became fan favorites since we made sure they were on camera all the time — the business of shooting ‘Dirty Jobs’ became its own ‘Dirty Job.’ The fans of the show will recognize the guys and they’ll love it.”
Rowe says fans will see him looking back at old footage and checking in with people featured on past “Dirty Jobs” episodes — some of whom he hasn’t seen in 10 years. (He says he stays in touch with around 30 to 40 people who were featured on the original series.)
“We Zoom with them as we’re barrelling down the Coast and we’re dipping into the footage,” he says. “We look back and reflect on essential work — mostly it’s a road trip at a time I think most of the country is dying to get out there.”
Rowe and the crew are in close proximity to each other — “that we can’t cheat,” he says — but they don’t come into contact with much of the outside world. “We go to an ostritch farm, buy some eggs, make breakfast and meet the ostritch farmer,” he says. “But we’re not going out into the world to do ‘Dirty Jobs.’ The fact that this wasn’t done [pre-pandemic] let me do something I don’t really think anyone else [in TV] is doing.
“Discovery greenlit the Zoom show, and after thinking about it, the conversation was, ‘We don’t think the country wants to look at TV that reminds them of a computer — they want to see people out in the world again.’
“To me, that’s worth leaning into.”
And, Rowe says, “Dirty Jobs” is pertinent in a world that’s been turned upside-down since March.
“The headlines catch up to the themes in shows like this,” he says. “When the economy tanked in 2008, ‘Dirty Jobs’ was relevant in a way no one imagined — and it’s just happened again.”
And we could be seeing more new episodes of “Dirty Jobs” in the future, he says.
“If you told me a year ago that we’d be shooting new episodes I’d say, ‘No, that can’t happen,’ ” he says. “I can’t speak for the network, but I think this is going to continue. It’s kind of up to the crew, too, but I just think the combination of humor and dignity and fun and relevance works.
“By and large I think we all have the passion to go back and pick up where we left off [in 2012],” he says. “I’m game.”