.: Ex-‘Charmed’ stars Doherty, Combs reunite for Great American road trip :.
Shannen Doherty wanted her newest TV show to be Anthony Bourdain-meets-"Thelma & Louise.”
So the actress recruited her best friend and former "Charmed” co-star Holly Marie Combs and embarked on a road trip through the southeastern US — documented in the six-episode series "Off the Map With Shannen & Holly,” premiering Jan. 2 at 10 p.m. on Great American Country.
"I’m a huge fan of ‘No Reservations’ and ‘Parts Unknown,’” Doherty says of Bourdain’s series. "I think [Bourdain] is amazing and I always look at him and think he’s so lucky, that’s such a great job. I wanted to do a show like that but I wanted to add a different sort of flavor.”
The two friends had traveled together before — to Ireland, Germany, Paris, Mexico, even a road trip to Montana — but never like this. In a rented pickup truck they name Bessie, "Off the Map” sees them hit six states in four weeks: Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi.
"I’m from Tennessee so we thought it would be interesting to make sure [Tennessee] was in the mix, to go back to my roots, but in a different way and in different areas of Tennessee than I was familiar with,” Doherty says.
The pair picked activities in each state mostly by word-of-mouth, talking to locals to figure out the can’t-miss, off-the-beaten-path spots. In the premiere (set in Kentucky), they zipline through limestone caves under Louisville, visit a horse sanctuary in Lexington and drive the Bourbon Trail to Buffalo Trace Distillery.
In future episodes, Doherty and Combs go dirt-track racing in Alabama, take a ghost tour in Georgia, make moonshine in Tennessee and visit with blues musicians in Mississippi. Other activities were voted on by viewers online — like when the two participate in a tomato fight in the premiere.
Since the duo are are also both animal rights activists, Doherty also added wildlife stops like the horse sanctuary and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.
The former "Beverly Hills, 90210” actress says she would love to keep traveling for the show (like heading west to Wyoming and Montana next) and hopes to eventually cover the entire US.
"I learned something about myself, which was that I actually really like getting in a car and driving,” she says. "I always was the girl of ‘Why drive when there’s a plane that gets you there so much faster?’ Now I completely get it.
"There’s a freedom in it and you can go off the beaten path and have adventures while you’re traveling.
"It’s an amazing way to see the country.”