PBS “EXPLORATION WEDNESDAYS” Take Viewers on Journeys of Discovery
ARLINGTON, VA; October 1, 2012 – PBS launches a new season of “Exploration Wednesdays,” the smart and popular science and nature-based programming block that returns October 10 with episodes of NATURE at 8 p.m. ET, NOVA at 9 p.m. ET and the magazine series NOVA scienceNOW, with new host David Pogue, at 10 p.m. ET (check local listings).
“Exploration Wednesdays” began in early 2011, when NATURE and NOVA moved to Wednesday nights — becoming an almost-instant ratings success and a magnet for more viewers, who stayed engaged throughout the night. NATURE improved viewership for the Wednesday 8 p.m. slot by five percent in nearly all demographics, with its appeal to Hispanic-led households jumping 15 percent. NOVA boosted the 9 p.m. slot by 17 percent, improving its numbers in all audience groups. A third science program was added to the mix at 10 p.m. last fall, increasing viewership in that time period by 17 percent as well. When NOVA scienceNOW joined the lineup this past spring, “Exploration Wednesdays” became the theme of the night.
“We’ve worked hard to build Wednesday nights on PBS as the best place to turn for consistently great science and nature programs,” said John F. Wilson, Senior Vice President & Chief TV Programming Executive. “The can’t-miss combination of new NATURE, NOVA, and NOVA scienceNOW episodes will help build on the success of the block that has proven to be a destination for viewers.”
The new season of “Exploration Wednesdays” includes four new episodes of NATURE, five new episodes of NOVA and six new NOVA scienceNOW episodes over seven consecutive weeks. An outline of the schedule follows.
October 10, 2012
- NATURE “Siberian Tiger Quest” – Follow conservation ecologist Chris Morgan as he finds and films the elusive Siberian tigers in remote Russia.
- NOVA “Secrets of the Viking Sword” – Learn how Viking sword makers designed and built the Ulfberht sword and uncover its role in history.
- NOVA scienceNOW “What Makes Us Human?” – Explore the evolutionary roots of language, tool-making, even laughter.
October 17, 2012
- NATURE “Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom” [repeat] – Enter the secretive world of the wolverine to find out who this dynamic little devil truly is.
- NOVA “Forensics on Trial” – Learn how modern forensics can send innocent men and women to prison — and sometimes even to death row.
- NOVA scienceNOW “Can Science Stop Crime?” – Learn some of the secrets of crime prevention.
October 24, 2012
- NATURE “Magic of the Snowy Owl” – Witness the daily struggles of snowy owls to raise a family of helpless chicks until they can fly.
- NOVA “Iceman Murder Mystery” [repeat] – Join NOVA to defrost the ultimate time capsule — a 5,000-year-old corpse pulled from an Alpine glacier.
- NOVA scienceNOW “How Smart Can We Get?” – Find out if it’s possible to stretch the boundaries of the human mind.
October 31, 2012
- NATURE “Raccoon Nation” [repeat] – Find out if human beings’ efforts to outwit raccoons are actually making the animals smarter.
- NOVA “Ghosts of Machu Picchu” [repeat] – Probe areas of Machu Picchu that haven’t been touched since the time of the Incas.
- NOVA scienceNOW “Can I Eat That?” – Uncover the complicated truth behind our sense of taste.
November 7, 2012
- NATURE “Animal Odd Couples” – Investigate unlikely cross-species relationships and learn what they suggest about animal emotions.
- NOVA “Mystery of Easter Island” – See a fresh investigation of Easter Island, a remote speck of land that has mystified the world for centuries.
- NOVA scienceNOW “What Are Animals Thinking?” – Join David Pogue as he meets animals that challenge notions of what makes “us” different from “them.”
November 14, 2012
- NATURE “An Original DUCKumentary” – See how much you don’t know about ducks — familiar, yet phenomenal, creatures.
- NOVA “Ultimate Mars Challenge” – Witness the exhilarating moments of Curiosity’s Mars landing — and the spectacular discoveries afterward.
- NOVA scienceNOW “What Will the Future Be Like?” – Hear David Pogue’s predictions about which technologies will transform life for you — and your grandkids.
November 21, 2012
- NATURE “My Life as a Turkey” [repeat] – Witness the experience of writer Joe Hutto (portrayed by Jeff Palmer) as he raises a family of turkey chicks.
- NOVA “Ancient Computer” – Follow the ingenious sleuthing that decoded a 2,000-year-old Greek computer.
- NOVA scienceNOW “Can I Eat That?” [repeat] – Uncover the complicated truth behind our sense of taste.
For more information on “Exploration Wednesdays” programming including NATURE, NOVA and NOVA scienceNOW, visit http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/, and http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/and follow @PBSNature, @novapbs, and @novascinow on Twitter.
CREDITS NATURE: A production of THIRTEEN in association with WNET, the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York’s public television stations and operator of NJTV. Executive producer is Fred Kaufman.
NOVA: A production of the WGBH Science Unit. Senior executive producer is Paula S. Apsell.
NOVA scienceNOW: A production of the WGBH Science Unit. Senior executive producer is Paula S. Apsell.
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