In the history of American television, I’m betting this never happened before. A farmer with no TV experience has an idea for a show. And now it’s starting to air in syndication in major markets across the U.S., including New York and Atlanta. “I knew nothing about TV, I’m a tractor guy and a farmer,” […]
In the history of American television, I’m betting this never happened before.
A farmer with no TV experience has an idea for a show. And now it’s starting to air in syndication in major markets across the U.S., including New York and Atlanta.
Small Town Big Deal tells real stories about unique people, places and traditions across America.
“If I had known everything I know now, I might not have tried it. It’s almost an impossible task. And I didn’t know that.”
Miller, a Georgia farmer and former tractor company executive, started up a production company in 2010 for a show to “tell the real story of America.”
He created a pilot, got some sponsors and backers, and it was received well. In 2012, the show premiered on RFD-TV, a cable network for rural Americans.
That’s where Jann Carl saw it. Carl is a former Hollywood reporter for Entertainment Tonight, and now Miller’s co-host on Small Town Big Deal.
The two have been co-hosts ever since.
“I grew up wanting to Charles Kuralt,” says Carl. “I always loved the kicker story.”
After three seasons on RFD-TV, where it was the network’s No. 1 show, according to Miller, Small Town Big Deal launches into syndication this month on major network affiliates in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago and Kansas City, to name a few.
The show has been airing on WABC New York since January.
“WABC has also been an important barometer for us as we move into broadcast syndication, especially considering that the New York City market is the toughest in America.
Miller says the station has been pleased with the show’s results.
But it’s one thing to be a popular show on a cable network dedicated to a rural audience and quite another to go mainstream on major affiliates in major metropolitan markets.
Carl says she’s aware of the pressure, but says it’s worth it.
“I hope families will sit down and watch TV and feel good about America again.”
Both Miller and Carl point to their on-air chemistry as a reason for the show’s success. Carl says they hit it off right away. “The first time we talked on the phone we talked for two hours straight.”
“Our big break was when Jann reached out to us,” says Miller. “She adds credibility. She’s made me a lot better on camera.”
Promoting Small Town Big Deal follows both traditional and non-traditional paths.
The show provides on-air episodics, but also uses social media to interact with local Chambers of Commerce, businesses and groups featured in the episodes. The show has reached more than 35,000 people through Facebook via shares, comments, likes, etc.
Carl says they talk to people everywhere they go. “Rodney and I laugh and say ‘we’re recruiting viewers one at a time’.”
Click here to see the entire episode based on the above promo.
For more information about Small Town Big Deal, click here.