2016 Television: In-Depth Reporting - Silver


The three-part NOVA series on “Making North America” describes how powerful geological forces formed a continent, how life evolved on that continent, how humans first set foot on North America, and what surprises the continent’s changing landscape may have in store for us. The lushly photographed series, with stunning computer graphics that recreate a world of tectonic upheaval, provides a look deep into our planet’s history. Paleontologist Kirk Johnson, an enthusiastic and fearless guide, takes viewers on an extended field trip to some of the most stunning locales on the continent, including the Grand Canyon where exposed rock layers allow scientists to peer hundreds of millions of years into the past to track the ebb and flow of desert sands and shallow seas. Whether rappelling off the edge of the Grand Canyon, flying over erupting Kilauea in Hawaii, descending deep into a Canadian mine, or taking the controls of heavy equipment at a Manhattan construction site, Johnson takes his viewers along on a grand tour and an intellectual adventure. Eliene Augenbraun, multimedia managing editor for Nature Research Group, asks: “Did you ever wonder how a geologist sees a landscape ─ I mean really sees it? This film gives you deep insight into how to interpret and really see the layers of history buried or exposed over geological time.” Added judge Larry Engel of American Uniiversity: “It’s really hard to make rocks interesting, but this three-part adventure across North America and immersion in its geologic history made for a compelling story. I won’t look at mountains or New York City in the same way again.” Geology is a window into previous versions of Planet Earth, Johnson said. “Whenever I look at rocky outcrops, I see these lost Worlds. ‘Making North America’ allowed me to share my excitement about our continent with millions of people.” Through the series, along with NOVA’s digital and educational resources, “We hope to have tapped into our viewers’ sense of wonder about our land, uncovering clues about our past—and possibly our future—that lie just beneath our feet,” said Senior Executive Producer Paula S. Apsell of NOVA.

"Origins" Nov. 4, 2015 (Transcript)

"Life" Nov. 11, 2015 (Transcript)

"Human" Nov. 18, 2015 (Transcript)