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PBS’s Bill Gardner on programming strategy, working with the NATURE series, and Season of the Osprey

PBS programming exec Bill Gardner helped make Season of the Osprey happen.

He describes why the Osprey pitch was a winner, and how it became a successful NATURE / Love Nature co-production.

This podcast launches our Season of the Osprey platform, the cenrepiece of our outreach campaign.

Listen to Bill Gardner on PBS, Natural History & ‘Osprey’

How does PBS greenlight wildlife programs?

Bill Gardner is vice president, programming & development, overseeing content strategy, development and production for the PBS Primetime schedule.

In our podcast, Bill shares highlights of the PBS documentary strategy under Sylvia Bugg, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming.

He then dives deeper into how PBS commissions wildlife programs, primarily through its 40-year collaboration with the NATURE series that is executive produced by The WNET Group’s Fred Kaufman.

Credit: Rahoul Ghose/PBS

Osprey: How did it happen?

Bill relates how the Love Nature team visited PBS just before last year’s Covid shutdown. They screened Jacob Steinberg’s pitch reel for his osprey project.

He describes how the pitch reel ‘popped’ against the criteria that he uses to evaluate projects. He sent a note to NATURE recommending that Jacob’s osprey project be developed with the Love Nature team.

Bill closes with a reflection of the huge editorial challenges, team effort, and fortunate timing that must all come together to create a beautiful blue chip wildlife film.

Osprey Outreach

My Bill Gardner podcast kicks off our Season of the Osprey outreach campaign.

Our aim is celebrate on our just-launched Osprey platform this magnificent species, and to cover in detail how inspiring wildlife filmmaking contributes to successful global conservation efforts.

Listen to my podcast with Bill Gardner, see the trailers, and explore the Season of the Osprey outreach campaign!

The Story

What does it take to be a champion osprey? To migrate for thousands of miles from Amazonia to Connecticut, reunite with a lifelong mate, fight off challengers for their nest, and then to hatch and tenderly raise a family of ravenous chicks? Jacob Steinberg’s Season of the Osprey for NATURE and Love Nature reveals one summer in the intimate life of the spectacular osprey, the world’s only aquatic raptor.