Vice President of Programming & Development for PBS
Bill Gardner is Vice President of Programming & Development for PBS where he oversees content strategy, development and production for the PBS Primetime schedule in the genres of history, culture, natural history and science programming, as well as a portion of the PBS drama lineup. During his time at PBS, his projects have won two Peabody Awards, two Emmys, the DuPont Columbia Award, an Imagen award, numerous Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival awards and the NAACP Image Award.
Gardner’s recent projects have been some of PBS’s most highly-rated and acclaimed, including documentary series Earth A New Wild; Many Rivers to Cross: The African Americans with Henry Louis Gates, Jr; Africa’s Great Civilizations; Makers; Black America since MLK:And Still I Rise; Twice Born and Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music.He also oversees formatted ongoing series such as Finding Your Roots and live presentations such as USS Indianapolis LIVE: From the Deep as well as doc specials E.O Wilson: Of Ants & Men and Hawking in addition to bringing Brit-Com Vicious starring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi to PBS.
Gardner also oversees the PBS-BBC co production partnership, with successful output such as Earth’s Natural Wonders, The Great Yellowstone Thaw and Spy in the Wild, as well as the live natural history event shows BAFTA-winning Big Blue Live and Wild Alaska Live. He has also recently wrapped or is in production on marquee projects Civilizations, a reboot of the 1969 classic BBC series on the history of art and American Epic, and exploration of American roots music with executive producers Jack White, T-Bone Burnett and Robert Redford.
Gardner joined PBS from Discovery Studios, where he worked on the prestige Curiosity series and as Executive Producer oversaw and developed national productions in the reality, lifestyle and CGI genres for multiple networks with partners such as the NFLPA, Petfinder.com and the Department of Defense. Prior to moving to Discovery Bill spent over a decade in the independent production world, working as director, producer, writer and show runner on projects for multiple networks both in the US and globally. He has produced shows in over 30 countries, including spending 2 months in Iraq embedded with USSpecial Forces investigating the looting of the Baghdad museum in 2003.
Before getting into TV Bill earned a Masters Degree in cultural anthropology, worked as a university instructor in Arkansas and taught study abroad students in Marrakech, Morocco. He speaks excellent Arabic.