Reddit Users Get Their Own TV Show

PBS is partnering with social news service Reddit to pilot a television series called YourWeek that combines user-submitted video segments and in-studio commentary.

Reddit went public with its plans today in order to solicit user participation for the series pilot, which is supposed to be posted online June 6. If the show gets picked up, it will premiere on TV this fall.

YourWeek will be hosted by Michelle Cottle of The New Republic and Rich Lowry of the National Review, who will add further reporting on stories that make it to the top of Reddit. Reddit won’t be expanding to support video posts, but it will encourage users to contribute links to first-person reports they’ve posted elsewhere. The show sounds like kind of the inverse of Current TV, in that it’s grounded in an active community that doesn’t necessarily have production chops.

YourWeek topics will include “politics, arts, international, science, tech, social, sports, and pop culture” — so basically everything. Reddit and PBS are trying to make the show participatory in some creative ways, for instance asking users to write its theme song and promising to incorporate viewer feedback and corrections even after shows air on TV.

Reddit, which is owned by Conde Nast, clearly isn’t getting into public television for the money. Co-founder Alexis Ohanian described the show as a way to expose Reddit’s news filtering and commenting community. “PBS can reach much a broader, much more mainstream audience, and our users have been clamoring for that kind of platform. The biggest draw for us was putting us in front of a much bigger audience and to affect what people are talking about.”

When asked about the show driven by top stories on that other social news site, Digg’s Diggnation, Ohanian replied, “No offense to Kevin and Alex, but I expect the discourse to be a little higher. I don’t think the hosts will be drinking beers.”