PBS docu series/newsmag thinking viral

PBS docu series “Frontline” has bagged a $5 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Coin is earmarked to help the series and its companion newsmag “Frontline/World” expand their online offerings and develop original content for new-media platforms during the next five years.

“Frontline” already has a fair amount of material available on its website and was an early adopter of the Internet: It’s been loading up additional info and resources on the Web for its various productions since 1995.

“Frontline” exec producer David Fanning said the show plans to develop a video player to allow for even more enhanced content on the Web. The MacArthur grant “will allow us to take the next big steps to integrate our documentary production online, enrich the user experience with new original content and reach both new audiences and our loyal viewers on this new-media platform,” Fanning said.

The MacArthur Foundation is already an underwriter of the “Frontline/World” series, along with oil giant Shell, the Skoll Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Funders of the mothership skein, which begins its 24th year on the air in October, include the Park Foundation and PBS.

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