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BOSTON, MA (December 17, 2009)- NOVA announced today that documentary filmmaker Howard Swartz will join the science series as executive producer on January 4, 2010. Produced for PBS by WGBH Boston, NOVA enters its 37th season in January 2010 and remains the most-watched primetime science series on American television. Swartz joins Senior Executive Producer Paula S. Apsell at a time when the series is expanding in several new directions.

"We're very excited to welcome Howard to the NOVA team," said Apsell, Senior Executive Producer of NOVA and NOVA scienceNOW and Director of the WGBH Science Unit who oversees on-air productions as well as initiatives beyond the broadcasts. "His filmmaking experience combined with a sheer enthusiasm for creating compelling and memorable television experiences is a perfect fit for NOVA."

Swartz comes to NOVA from the National Geographic Channel (NGC), where he has executive produced more than 90 original programs and currently oversees its awardwinning "Explorer" series. In 2008, under Swartz's creative leadership, "Inside the Living Body" received the News and Documentary Emmy as did "Incredible Human Machine." In 2009, "Five Years on Mars" received an Emmy for Outstanding Science, Technology, and Nature Programming. In his role as executive producer, he also worked on "Human Footprint," a film in NGC's "Preserve Our Planet Campaign," which was honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Board of Governors with its prestigious Governors Award. Other top programs Swartz has executive produced include "Giant Crystal Cave" and "Aftermath: Population Zero" (both among NGC's five top-rated shows of 2008); "Hubble's Amazing Universe," "Direct from the Moon," and "Kingdom of the Blue Whale."

Prior to NGC, Swartz co-founded BellaSwartz Productions in 2002, where he oversaw numerous award-winning nonfiction television programs for NGC, Science, Discovery, and History Channels. Starting in 1996, he produced, wrote, and directed nearly 100 hours of some of the most successful series in nonfiction cable television, such as "The New Detectives" and "FBI Files."

"Joining NOVA is an incredible opportunity," Swartz remarked. "I have the highest respect for Paula Apsell and the entire team for the innovative programs they produce and the reputation that the series has earned, both nationally and internationally, as the trusted science source."

The flagship weekly NOVA series, airing Tuesday nights at 8pm ET/PT, continues to produce comprehensive hour-long films. In 2005, Apsell created the popular spin-off series NOVA scienceNOW, a science magazine-style format hosted by engaging astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. This fall, NOVA debuted The Secret Life of Scientists, a series of new web-only episodes appearing bimonthly at NOVA's companion website amplifies the impact of its programs, and is consistently the most-visited website on (one of the most trafficked dot-orgs in the world), with approximately 1.3 million visitors each month.

Swartz is a graduate of the University of Virginia. He will be relocating to Boston from Washington, D.C.with his wife, Brooke Barrows.


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Entering its 37th season, NOVA is the most-watched primetime science series on American television,reaching an average of five million viewers weekly. The series remains committed to producing in-depth science programming in the form of hour-long (and occasionally longer) documentaries, from the latest breakthroughs in technology to the deepest mysteries of the natural world. NOVA airs Tuesdays at 8pm ET/PT on WGBH Boston and most PBS stations. The Director of the WGBH Science Unit and Senior Executive Producer of NOVA is Paula S. Apsell.

About PBS
PBS, with its 356 member stations, offers all Americans - from every walk of life - the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches more than 124 million people on-air and online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS' 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. PBS' premier children's TV programming and Web site,, are parents' and teachers' most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.

Press Contact:
Eileen Campion, Dera, Roslan & Campion PR, 212.966.4600;
Carole McFall, NOVA National Promotion, 617.300.3988;