PBS Makes Bold, Unprecedented Commitment to Online Programming

By 01/05/2012
PBS Makes Bold, Unprecedented Commitment to Online Programming

PBS announced plans for six original web series at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, CA.

“I think the online space is a great area to experiment,” PBS President and CEO Paula A. Kerger told reporters, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Kerger attributed the decision to the lower cost of producing and distributing projects online and the station’s successful growth online and on social media.

Indeed, the PBS Facebook page has nearly a million likes, over 900,000 followers on Twitter, and its YouTube channel is nearing 100,000 subscribers, despite its own video hub at PBS.org.

PBS has been experimenting with original online series over the past years, but this week’s announcement marks an unprecedented commitment to the medium.

Last summer, PBS produced arts-focused original series Off Book, and collaborated with Annie Leonard (The Story of Stuff) and WGBH to release a kid-oriented animated educational series Loop Scoops. Back in 2009, PBS and NOVA teamed up to release The Secret Life of Scientists, and last Spring jumped in on the Royal Wedding live stream.