PBS' first coordinated pledge drive premiered in 1975, though the fundraising events previously existed on member stations. But as Alexis Soloski notes, PBS stations have felt a paradox in interrupting their usual programming for pledge drives. "To attract the most money to support their mission of quality television, many stations diverge from their usual lineup and resort to pledge programming of more doubtful merit — infomercials, specials that promote pseudoscientific advice, music documentaries that exist just to push you to choose a six-CD set as your 'thank you' gift," says Soloski. "Some stations have more recently pushed back against lengthy, on-air pledge drives, but the ritual remains stubbornly popular, bringing in new subscribers while selling out DVDs of Aging Backward 3." ALSO: PBS has educated viewers about the realities of American life, making us better citizens.