Charlie LeDuff is back, and his job certainly has changed.
In a video posted on the Fox 2 website, LeDuff journeys to East Rutherford, N.J. site of Sunday's Super Bowl, to help the mayor, James Cassella, below, with LeDuff, obtain a ticket. It's part of LeDuff's new role, traveling the country and encountering people, for a segment titled "The Americans...with Charlie LeDuff."
As Deadline Detroit reported Jan. 22, LeDuff had stopped doing news reports more than a week before Christmas to prepare for his new job, which appears to be a modern version of the famous "On the Road," features done for years by award-winning CBS reporter Charles Kuralt.
The New Jersey feature centered on how Cassella, not to mention his state, wasn't getting any respect.
As the description of chapter one of "The Americans" on the station's website put it:
Fox 2 reporter Charlie LeDuff and his crew head to New Jersey to help East Rutherford Mayor James Cassella get a ticket to America's biggest sporting event. On their mission they run into real Americans like Danny Provenzano, who offers his insight on how to score a ticket and get respect at the same time.
The ticket quest takes Charlie into Manhattan with stops at the NFL's head office, the local FOX 5 TV station and Wall Street where raising $4,000 for a ticket should be a snap.
Play the video to see how the mission ends. It's an American story. And for America's big game, Super Bowl XLVIII, you don't need a ticket, you can watch it on your local Fox station. Game time 6 p.m., but coverage starts hours before. (Emphasis Deadline Detroit's.)
"The Americans" is quite different than what LeDuff was doing in Detroit, which included needling politicians,
poking fun at institutions and raising questions about such serious issues as the bungled Wayne County jail project, the crisis in EMS and various activities and policies of the administration of former Mayor Dave Bing -- all done in a madcap style almost never seen on local TV news.
Spoiler alert: The mayor got a ticket.