Local USA, a 13-part documentary series focusing on “story, character, region and place,” premieres today on the World Channel. The half-hour series, a co-production of WTTW in Chicago and World Channel, showcases stories from pubTV stations nationwide, as well as independent productions. Each episode may contain multiple short segments, or just one or two films. One episode, “Death and Dying,” profiles a respectful embalmer in Toledo, Ohio; a dying woman in Brooklyn who is planning her final dinner party; and an urban philosopher in Memphis. The stories “build on one another to provide not only a better understanding of the overall topic, but also of what unites the U.S. in all its diversity — and what makes various places distinctive,” WTTW said in its announcement. Hosts are Evan Allen-Gessesse, a producer, director, writer and photographer, and Chicago-based actress Niccole Thurman.