After letting their BBQ grillmaster marinate on YouTube, Austin’s KLRU is taking him to TV.
The station will produce the 10-episode series BBQ With Franklin for national pubTV distribution in early 2015, based on a popular series of YouTube videos featuring Austin BBQ legend Aaron Franklin. The YouTube series, launched in 2012 with support in part from crowdfunding and PBS Digital Studios, has racked up more than one million viewers.
While the YouTube series is mostly instructional in nature, the TV show will follow Franklin as he travels around central Texas learning about BBQ history and culture. KLRU will continue to produce new web-exclusive episodes concurrently with the broadcast series.
“When we first started this, it was kind of an experiment, and as an experiment we were planning to end it at a certain point,” said Maury Sullivan, KLRU community engagement s.v.p. “But it just kept going.”
Austin-based digital coupon outlet RetailMeNot has signed on as the show’s first sponsor. KLRU is contracting with an outside production company for the series but will handle post-production in-house.