Nova producer aims for entertaining yet serious approach to science

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Nova is looking to “broaden the PBS science strand’s appeal with more ‘lighthearted’ host-driven programming to balance its slate of high-concept specials and episodic exploration series,” according to Realscreen magazine, which covers nonfiction TV and film productions.

Producer Chris Schmidt, formerly of Powderhouse Productions, who joined the show in April, told the mag that one of his personal goals is to “try to continue to try to attract younger viewers and more female viewers by taking some of the things I’ve learned working in the commercial world and bring that stuff to Nova. I think that there’s a way to combine entertainment you might think of as being on Discovery or History Channel with the kind of serious approach to science that Nova is known for. Part of that is done through storytelling and by trying to come up with dynamic ways to cover the material. We can do that without dumbing it down.”

Schmidt was behind two popular recent Nova offerings, its Making Stuff series and Hunting the Elements special, “both of which took a more populist approach to two topics typically considered dry subject matter: material science and the periodic table of elements,” the magazine noted.

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