Joe and Anna Edney “owe a lot to the Bouncing Bulldogs.” Both joined the team when they turned 8 and continued jumping for years. Around the time they graduated from high school (Anna from East Chapel Hill High School and Joe from Chapel Hill High School), they started dating and eventually got married. When public television show “Baby Makes 3” selected the couple for a nursery design makeover for their unborn son, they paid tribute to their shared background.
At the center of the room’s design was a DIY project above the crib featuring jump ropes spelling out the word ‘explore.’ The Edneys watched their episode, one of many featuring area couples during season one, this summer on UNC-TV. “Now we have a 14-month-old son who we take to watch the team when they perform and practice. [Henry] loves it and will obviously be forced to pursue an athletic career in jump rope,” the couple jokes.
The TV show was the brainchild of Chip Howell, who attended East Chapel Hill High at the same time as Anna. In high school, Chip took a film class, and that led to a few more courses through the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke. He dreamed up the show a few years ago, and through a lot of hard work, a successful pilot and a dedicated crew, watched his own show air at 24 years old. “Public television skews older in terms of demographic than the millennial age group we’ve targeted, so it has often been a tough sell,” he says. As a member of that group, Chip is driven to make a watchable show for all ages. “He’s definitely one of the youngest television producers we’ve heard of. But we were completely blown away by his professionalism and commitment to making a quality product,” Anna says. “Guess you can’t expect anything less than overachievement from a Chapel Hillian.”