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Broadcasts are integral to Acorn’s marketing strategy: Once viewers discover a series on TV, they’re much more likely to become interested in purchasing the DVDs.

Consider, for example, our hit series Doc Martin, a quirky British drama steeped in comedic overtones.

The title character, played by Martin Clunes, is a bachelor and brilliant surgeon who develops haemophobia, a fear of blood that impairs him from doing his job.

He moves from London to a small Cornish village to run the town’s only medical practice (“surgery” in British parlance).

Yet he lacks social skills and his curt, abrasive manners don’t help him win over patients.

The humor in the show can be lost on viewers, at least until they figure out Doc Martin is not your usual kind of doctor show. Why it’s a hit for local public television stations, and how it came to be so, is a convoluted yet reaffirming study in collaboration among program distributors and station programmers. broadcast, home video and digital rights to Doc Martin’s sixth series, as well as many other British series found on public television.