HomeEntertainmentMike Rowe Wants to Give an ‘Honest Look’ at the Hardworking Middle Class with New Show

Mike Rowe Wants to Give an ‘Honest Look’ at the Hardworking Middle Class with New Show

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Discovery)

Mike Rowe made himself famous by showing the world just how gross some jobs can be on Dirty Jobs. And now he’s coming out with a spin-off of sorts called How America Works (premiering Monday, 8 p.m. EDT). But this time, he’ll be standing behind the camera while he showcases the hardworking middle class.

In Rowe’s Fox Business Network series, he’ll turn the attention on the countries most crucial industries. The highlighted workforce will include electricians, sewer workers, and more.

“We sent the cameras in,” Rowe told USA Today. “Our hope is to give America an honest look at really what it’s like maintaining the Hoover Dam turbines or running the most technically adapted fish boat in the world. It’s a bit like ‘Dirty Jobs,’ but without the host.”

The gig isn’t quite as horrifying for Rowe since he’ll spend his time on the sideline. But the host did share one bit of disgusting information about the sewer systems in Wisconsin.

“On a personal note, there is something special about Milwaukee sewage as a result of all the cheese intake,” he said. “I blame the college kids of Madison as well. Their diets are a nightmare. The Madison sewers are unspeakable, a whole other level.”

Mike Rowe Says His ‘Dirty Jobs’ Reboot is ‘The Granddaddy of Essential Work’ Shows

Mike Rowe is a busy man running two television series. Between Dirty Jobs and How America Works, he’s on a mission to put a spotlight on America’s unnoticed labor workers. And he’s been quite successful. Dirty Jobs had made us appreciate the men and women in industries that we’d never considered. While we go about our daily lives, sewer inspectors are ensuring our toilets have a place to flush. And snake researchers are inspecting serpent vomit. 

And Mike Rowe wanted to make sure he and the viewers gave appreciation where it was due. His Discovery Channel show wasn’t about him. It was about the workers.

“[Dirty Jobs] wasn’t a lecture, it wasn’t a sermon, it was an honest look in the day on the job not of a host, but as a guest,” Rowe told The Hollywood Reporter. “I was basically an avatar on that show.”

But there is one message from the show that he wishes her could change. The ongoing pandemic opened Rowe’s eyes to the fact that there are more essential jobs in this world than he’d considered. And he hopes to make people understand that with his new show. 

“’Dirty Jobs’ was the granddaddy of essential work shows, but now, on a personal level when I look around, you can’t describe certain work as essential without also implying that certain other kinds of work is non-essential. And I don’t feel good about that,” Rowe said.

He continued by adding: “Everybody is essential to somebody, even if it is just themselves. And there is no such thing as non-essential work. That is a different message than the one I started with 20 years ago. It is still hard, it is still dirty, it is still smelly, the shows I work on still have that element to them, but I no longer believe that there is anything non-essential about any job.”