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PBS America makes first third-party programme acquisitions

The international PBS channel has acquired a raft of documentaries from distributor Off the Fence, marking its first major deal for programming from outside the core PBS catalogue.

The shows will go out on PBS America, the UK version of the US not-for-profit channel, which is run as a joint venture between David Lyons and PBS Distribution. It has hitherto been programmed with PBS content.

The 21-title package from Off the Fence is for a selection of one-off docs across the history, nature, science and adventure categories.

The shows were all originally commissioned for either the Smithsonian Channel or TLC in the States and all but one are new to the UK.

Titles include Death Valley, Death of JFK Jr, Challenging Niagara, Otters of Yellowstone and Tragedy in Amish County (pictured).

“It is an exciting development for us to be looking further afield for content for the very first time,” said Richard Kingsbury, general manager, PBS America. “After nearly 18 months on air, we now know what our loyal viewers like to watch – and they relish rich and in-depth stories about America and its history.  Featuring high production values and a wealth of ‘take out’, all of these factual titles share the same sensibilities as the rest of our output. ”