Lake Cumberland region, you now have your own sitcom.
The freshman NBC laugher "Perfect Harmony" debuted Thursday night in the 8:30 p.m. slot, starring Bradley Whitford and Anna Camp. The show is set in southeastern Kentucky -- right here in this neck of the woods.
The action revolves around the choir of the Second First Church of the Cumberlands, where Whitford, playing an esteemed college music professor stuck in the south after his wife's funeral, ends up coaching Camp's ragtag musical ensemble, which is trying to make their name in a church choral competition.
One of the choirs competing against the show's protagonists is McCreary Methodist -- as in neighboring McCreary County. The diner at which Camp works is called the Moonbow -- as in the world-famous moonbow at Cumberland Falls, between McCreary and Whitley Counties. And a map of Lake Cumberland, the economic lifeblood of this region, is right there on the wall of the Moonbow.
And oh yeah -- the show was created by Lesley Wake Webster, whose roots are in Wayne County as the daughter of Norrie Wake, known locally as the former Mill Springs Battlefield Association administrator and owner of Lake Cumberland Winery in Monticello.
Webster, whose credits include "Life in Pieces," "Go On," "American Dad," "Kitchen Confidential," "Speechless," and "New Girl," based the series concept on her own grandfather, a choir musician who came to Kentucky from elsewhere, according to interviews in media coverage of the show.
Though the era of NBC's Thursday night "Must-See TV" sitcom line-up is gone from what it was a quarter of a century ago, the time slot inhabited by "Perfect Harmony" now is hallowed ground for sitcoms, having been previously inhabited by classics like "Family Ties," "A Different World," "Wings," "Will & Grace," and "Parks & Recreation" -- and even, in its first season, the iconic "Friends."
Now, Lake Cumberland has a piece of that kind of television history to itself.
Michelle Allen, executive director of the Somerset-Pulaski County Convention and Visitors Bureau, couldn't be happier about seeing the area she works hard to promote get its time in the TV spotlight -- not long after it appeared on the Bravo reality cooking competition "Top Chef."
"I'm always ecstatic to see Lake Cumberland featured in a positive light across thousands of TV's in the U.S.," said Allen. "It's absolutely wonderful to see a successful native's family love it as much as we do and take the time to include their roots into an uplifting show such as 'Perfect Harmony.'"