Following on the success of their hit do-it-yourself magazine, the people behind Make will now bring their efforts to public television.
On Saturday, Make: Television will debut, a partnership between the magazine, Twin Cities Public Television, and American Public Television. All episodes will also be available for DRM-free download in HD, on YouTube, Vimeo, iTunes, and Blip.tv.
"Make: is the DIY series for a new generation," a release about the new show began. "It celebrates 'makers'--the inventors, artists, geeks, and just plain everyday folks who mix new and old technology to create new-fangled marvels. The series encourages everyone to invent, revent, recycle, upcycle, and act up. Based on the popular Make magazine, each half-hour episode inspires millions to think, create and, well, make."
The show will focus on the same kind of activities and people that have filled the pages of Make magazine. Among those featured in the first episode, for example, are Cyclecide, a group that travels the country putting on a bicycle rodeo; the maker of a cat-feeder built from an old VCR; and the man behind the "laser harp," a musical instrument played by strumming laser strings.
For some time, Make has been producing video content that has been available online. But now, for the first time, it is creating all-new content that is intended for television.
The launch of the show comes at a difficult time for media, what with layoffs across the industry and a weakening environment for advertising. But Make senior editor Philip Torrone said that things are going well for the magazine and that it is doing as well as it ever has.
One explanation for that would seem to be that as the economy falters and people struggle to make ends meet, Make helps them learn to do things on their own, without spending a lot on pre-produced goods. And, because it fosters a do-it-yourself ethos, the magazine--and its related media--is attractive to those interested in becoming more self-reliant.
Whether the TV series will be a success is unknown. But the fact that Twin Cities Public Television and American Public Television have decided that now is a good time to launch the show is a sign that people, there at least, believe that the time is right to promote DIY to a larger audience.