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‘Road to the Bee’ special premieres May 26 on ION, Bounce in advance of Scripps National Spelling Bee

May 18, 2022 By Michael Perry

CINCINNATI – “Road to the Bee” – a new, exclusive, one-hour original special documenting what it is like to prepare for and compete in the iconic Scripps National Spelling Bee – will premiere at 8 p.m. ET Thursday, May 26 on ION and Bounce.

It comes just days before the 2022 Bee begins. Accomplished actor, director, educator and lifelong children’s literacy advocate LeVar Burton, host of the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee, narrates “Road to the Bee.”

For the first time in Bee history, the competition will air on ION and Bounce, which are part of Scripps’ portfolio of free, over-the-air national networks. The semifinals will air, live-to-tape, on ION and Bounce from 8-10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 1. (The semifinals are scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.) The finals will air live on ION and Bounce from 8-10 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 2.

“Road to the Bee” goes behind the scenes with officials and 10 of this year’s regional competitors for a rare, inside look at the time, effort and, yes, practice, which goes into preparing for the nearly 100-year-old academic competition. It includes perspectives from those who support spellers, including family and members of the community. The special also includes a look at the event’s rich history, a visit with 2021 champion Zaila Avant-garde and the story behind the Bee’s infamous bell.

“Road to the Bee” will have encore airings on Newsy on May 29, June 3 and June 5; visit for times.

The Bee is the nation’s longest-running educational competition, having launched in 1925, and aired on ESPN platforms since 1994. The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) is the longtime steward of the competition and owns ION and Bounce. ION is the No. 5 most-watched entertainment network in primetime, and Bounce is the No. 2 most-watched network targeted to African Americans across broadcast and cable TV.

Visit for more details on how to watch “Road to the Bee,” the full broadcast and streaming schedules for the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

RSVP for Bee media teleconference
The Bee will host a teleconference on Wednesday, May 18, at 1 p.m. ET for journalists covering the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee, featuring Dr. J. Michael Durnil, executive director of the Bee, and David Hudson, head of original programming, Scripps Networks. RSVP to [email protected] to get call-in information.

Media contact: Michael Perry, (513) 259-4718, [email protected]

About the Scripps National Spelling Bee: 
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational program, having launched in 1925. The purpose of the Scripps National Spelling Bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives. Visit for more information about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP).

About ION
ION (@iontv) is a top-five rated broadcast television network featuring a lineup of popular off-network series, original and holiday movies and more. ION is available to 99% of U.S. television homes free and over the air with a digital antenna, on cable, on DISH channel 250 and DIRECTV channel 305, and over the top on Pluto TV. ION is part of The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP).