Through science you can predict when water will boil or the effect of gravity on a falling object; but in television, trying to forecast when a particular program will become a hit with viewers is impossible, as the commercial networks learn anew every year.
To break through on public television, a program must first traverse a maze of obstacles just to reach air. Fundraising and commissioning decisions, co-production and licensing deals, marketing strategies and fundraising tactics — some combination of these are required to bring shows into the PBS schedule or into syndication on local public TV stations from San Francisco to Chicago and Bangor, Maine.
This case study focuses on what it took to create a hit with Doc Martin, the most popular syndicated program airing on public TV stations.
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