PBS Travels the World to Bring Viewers A Compelling Wednesday Night Lineup of Science and Natural History Programs for Fall 2020
ARLINGTON, VA – (September 25, 2020) This fall, PBS will take viewers on an incredible global journey to explore the world we live in and beyond, from Australia to Africa to Antarctica to outer space. Featuring spectacular wildlife and nature photography, this special lineup presents inspiring stories of scientists, researchers, activists and individuals seeking creative solutions to the planet’s most pressing issues.
From reintroducing animals back into environments where they once thrived to investigating how seagrass meadows might help save coral reefs or devising ingenious ideas to combat climate change, the visionary efforts of humans to help nature heal are explored in these science and natural history programs.
“For audiences eager for outdoor adventures or just to learn more about the planet, we’re excited to offer a Wednesday night lineup of science and nature programming that not only explores the latest discoveries, but also unpacks some of the most emotional and impactful stories in the natural world,” said Bill Gardner, Vice President, General Audience Programming and Development. “From unlocking the mysteries of nature to harvesting asteroids, PBS is focused on inspiring stories that deepen our understanding of the world and our place in it.”
Below is the full broadcast schedule and more information about each program. All programs will stream simultaneously with broadcast.
ISLANDS OF WONDER (Wednesdays, September 16-30, 8:00- 9:00 p.m. ET)
Journey to three of the most exotic, mysterious and remote islands on the planet: Madagascar, Borneo and Hawaii. Isolated from the rest of the world, they harbor remarkable wildlife and pioneering human communities found nowhere else on Earth.
NOVA “Nature’s Fear Factor” (Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET)
For animals in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, the normal balance of competition and predation was upended when a war wiped out the top predators. The remaining animals didn’t simply grow in numbers—they began behaving in unusual ways, veering outside their typical territories and feeding patterns. Could it be that it’s not just predators’ kills that keep other populations in check, but also the fear they inspire? NOVA joins a team of scientists as they reintroduce wild dogs to Gorongosa to find out if restoring the park’s “landscape of fear” can restore balance to an entire ecosystem
THE AGE OF NATURE (Wednesdays, October 14-28, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET)
Explore humanity’s relationship with nature and wildlife, as scientists and conservationists from all over the world find innovative ways we can restore our planet. Filmed on seven continents, the three-part series presents creative ideas for dealing with such pressing issues as climate change, animal extinction, and environmental degradation. Each episode highlights some of the latest scientific research that helps us understand the workings of the planet and explores effective strategies for restoring the environment, re-wilding landscapes and maintaining a balance between species. Narrated by Uma Thurman.
NOVA “Touching The Asteroid” (Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET)
In the fall of 2020, a NASA spacecraft called OSIRIS-REx attempts to reach out and grab a piece of an asteroid named Bennu to bring it back to Earth. The OSIRIS-REx team has just three chances to extend their spacecraft’s specialized arm, touch down for five seconds, and collect material from the surface of Bennu. But if they can pull it off, scientists could gain great insight into Earth’s own origins — and even learn to defend against rogue asteroids that may one day threaten our planet.
NATURE “Australian Bushfire Rescue” (Wednesday, October 28, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET)
Australia’s devastating wildfires captured the world’s attention last January when it was estimated that one billion animals perished. The destruction was unimaginable. The future of the continent’s animals is unknown, yet out of this horror are stories of compassion and inspiration as dedicated animal rehabilitators care for the injured wildlife. NATURE follows some of Australia’s iconic animals – koalas, wallabies, wombats, parrots and bats – being cared for, nursed back to health and ultimately placed back in the wild when possible.
NOVA “Can We Cool the Planet?” (Wednesday, October 28, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET)
As global temperatures continue to rise, scientists are wondering if we need solutions beyond reducing emissions. Enter geoengineering. From sucking carbon straight out of the air to physically blocking out sunlight, the options may seem far-fetched. But as time runs out on conventional solutions to climate change, scientists are asking the hard questions: Can geoengineering really work? How much would it cost? And what are the risks of engineering Earth's climate?
PBS Terra (Available on YouTube, Facebook and PBS.org)
PBS Terra is a hub for science, nature and other STEM content from PBS Digital Studios. On YouTube and other platforms, it is home to multiple video series from a range of PBS stations and producers, including NOVA (WGBH). PBS Terra showcases the best digital STEM series exploring topics like biology, climate change, coding, engineering and more. New series coming to PBS Terra this fall include WEATHERED (w.t.) with Nesha Shastry highlighting real stories from people affected by natural disasters across the country, and education on how to prepare; and a joint series with NOVA hosted by Caitlin Saks of Digital Studio’s ANTARTIC EXTREMES, looking at the magic of molecules and how they’ve fundamentally shaped our world.
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’s premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV— including a 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.
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