WASHINGTON/BOSTON (Oct. 13, 2008)—National Geographic Television (NGT) and NOVA today announced a multiyear, multiprogram editorial collaboration for a series of new programs to be broadcast on NOVA, the PBS signature science series. National Geographic Television International is the distributor internationally.
Programs currently in development for the NOVA/National Geographic co-branded partnership include two hour-long documentary programs, “Extreme Ice” and “Rat Invasion” (working titles). Both are due to deliver in 2009.
“Extreme Ice” focuses on climate change shown through time-lapse cameras set by internationally acclaimed photojournalist James Balog, who has placed equipment in more than two dozen glacial locations around the world in order to assess the impact of global warming. Cameras shoot once an hour during daylight. The endeavor will build an archive of some 300,000 images over two years and is one of the most comprehensive photographic studies undertaken on shrinking glaciers and rising sea levels.
“Rat Invasion” goes to the frontlines in the remote Indian state of Mizoram, where a massive invasion of rats every 48 years triggers widespread destruction, famine and even civil war. Scientists link the plague to the flowering of a type of bamboo. This year the flowers are back, and so are millions of rats. An international team of rat ecologists has gathered in northeastern India to try out the latest techniques to combat the invasion and save Mizoram.
NGT and WGBH/NOVA recently worked together on two other successful projects for PBS: “Great Inca Rebellion” (June 26, 2007) and “Ape Genius” (Feb. 19, 2007). Both hour-long Specials were executive produced by NGT’s John Bredar and NOVA’s Paula Apsell. They will continue in similar roles for the new co-productions.
“Science is a real passion at NGT, so we could not be more pleased to partner with NOVA, one of the most respected names in science television,” said Michael Rosenfeld, president, NGT. “With the combined credibility of NOVA and National Geographic, this multiyear deal will allow us to produce substantive, in-depth programs about new scientific discovery and take those stories to a worldwide audience.”
Apsell, senior executive producer of NOVA and director of the WGBH/NOVA Science Unit, said of the collaboration, “Both NOVA and National Geographic have tremendous individual histories of supporting new discoveries and promoting great science through television. I believe our collective abilities to communicate innovative and entertaining science stories, combined with a passion for capturing high-quality, striking visuals, will come together to make truly exceptional programming for both NOVA and the international marketplace.”
For 35 years, NOVA has produced in-depth science programming and continues to uphold a longstanding reputation for providing unprecedented access to critical science stories including the first test tube baby, the eradication of smallpox, and the string theory. It is television’s most-watched primetime science series; in the U.S. alone, the popular public television series reaches an average of 5 million viewers weekly. NOVA documentaries regularly reach tens of millions of viewers across the world and are broadcast by over 75 separate channels, covering more than 150 countries. Over the years, NOVA has garnered almost every industry award, including 25 Emmy Awards, eight George Foster Peabody Awards, and nine Alfred duPont-Columbia University Awards, the television equivalent of a Pulitzer Prize. The series is produced for PBS by the WGBH Science Unit at WGBH in Boston.
Funding for NOVA is provided by ExxonMobil, David H. Koch, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and public television viewers. NOVA is closed captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers and described for people who are blind or visually impaired by the Media Access Group at WGBH. The descriptive narration is available on the SAP channel or stereo TV and VCRs. NOVA programs are available on DVD wherever videos are sold. To order direct from WGBH Boston Video, visit shop.wgbh.org or call (800) 949-8670.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TELEVISION
National Geographic Television (NGT) is the documentary TV production arm of the National Geographic Society (NGS), known around the world for its remarkable visuals and compelling stories. NGS is one of the largest global scientific and educational organizations, supporting field science on every continent. In 1963 NGT broke ground by broadcasting on
American network television the first moving pictures from the summit of Everest. Since then, NGT has continued to push technology to its limits to bring great stories to television audiences worldwide. With over 130 Emmy Awards and nearly 1,000 other industry accolades, NGT programming can be seen globally on the National Geographic Channel, as well as terrestrial and other cable and satellite broadcasters worldwide through international sales by National Geographic Television International, and on U.S. public television stations. The National Geographic Channel is received by more than 270 million households in 34 languages in 166 countries.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TELEVISION INTERNATIONAL
National Geographic Television International (NGTI) is a wholly owned subsidiary of National Geographic Ventures, the commercial arm of the National Geographic Society. Based in London, NGTI currently licenses more than 1,600 programme titles to broadcasters around the globe, across a diverse and ever-growing range of genres, including Natural History, Civilisations & History, Science, People & Places, Adventure, Current Affairs/Society and Kids. In addition to licensing programmes produced by National Geographic Television, NGTI also licenses programmes made by some of the world’s leading independent producers.