Franklin BBQ on the Big Screen
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After raising more than $19,000 on IndieGoGo, KLRU launched BBQ with Franklin, one of the most droolworthy web series YouTube has ever seen. Now, a year-and-a-half later, KLRU is launching a broadcast series of the same name to air on numerous local PBS stations around the country, leaving countless BBQ cravings in its wake. The only downside? The series doesn't come with samples. We caught up with the show's executive producer, Sara Robertson, to talk about the transition from web to broadcast. 

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1. How did you translate this from an IndieGoGo funded web series into a broadcast show?
We first needed to find a production partner to help with some of the heavy lifting. We’ll be working with Cara Carney and Stuart McSpadden at Rocket Science Videowho know how to produce for public media and, almost as important, know their way around a BBQ pit. Then we had to get a clear vision of what we wanted the show to be. Aaron Franklin is very creative and has lots of good ideas for the episodes. We’ve formed a great team and laid out a plan for a really great first season.

2. How will the broadcast show differ from the web series?
For the broadcast series, we want to delve into the history of BBQ more, and meet the “old timers” who are the experts in the field. We’ll also have fun experimenting with different equipment or cooking methods. But since Aaron leads such a crazy life, we could probably just put a camera on him and it’d be super entertaining. We will continue with the web series though, because it's very important to me for us to retain that audience. Plus, YouTube allows us to showcase instructional content in a way that won’t work on TV.

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Photo: Mark Jensen
3. What advice/insider tips would you give a station that wants to transform a web series into a broadcast show?
YouTube has acted as a great focus group for me. Feedback is immediate, and for this series, was overwhelmingly positive. It’s been great to have that guidance as we decide on topics. For instance, we never really thought about doing a demonstration on beef ribs, but that was one of the most popular questions we got.

4. What are you most excited for?
It’s intimidating to have this built-in audience and advanced press. Hopefully we’ll live up to everyone’s expectations! We’ll be posting behind-the-scenes video as we go into production so it’ll be exciting to have the audience along for the ride.


By Sara Robertson | Creative Director | KLRU

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Sara Robertson joined KLRU in November of 2005 and is the brains behind numerous local web and broadcast series that earned her team a number of Lonestar Emmys. Sara is also an active member of the PBS Digital Entrepreneurs Group, and recipient of multiple grants from PBS Digital. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and adorable son at their favorite local Austin spots.