PBS’ NOVA “Japan’s Killer Quake” Reaches 7 Million Viewers, More Than Any Other NOVA Episode In Five Years

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

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April 1st, 2011

via press release:


– Special Reached 7 Million Viewers –

Arlington, VA, April 1, 2011 – The NOVA science series episode, “Japan’s Killer Quake,” was watched by an estimated 7 million viewers[1], based on Nielsen data from 49 metered markets.  This marks the series’ largest audience for an original broadcast in the last five years.


Through first-person accounts from those who survived and from experts and scientists currently on the scene, Japan’s Killer Quake gives scientific context to the chain of events responsible for one of the most destructive disasters in recorded history.  The original one-hour documentary that took viewers moment by moment through Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami premiered on Wednesday, March 30th, and is now available on PBS.org/video.


“NOVA’s timely and in-depth investigations allow viewers to explore and understand catastrophic events, such as Japan's earthquake and the Chilean mine rescue by revealing the science behind the headlines,” said John F. Wilson, SVP and Chief Programming Officer.  “Once again, NOVA's producers responded quickly and brilliantly, and PBS' audience responded in kind.”


“These numbers underscore the trust that viewers have in PBS and NOVA’s commitment to providing them with the scientific context for important unfolding events,” added Howard Swartz, Executive Producer, WGBH.


NOVA and Channel 4 in the UK commissioned Pioneer Productions to produce Japan’s Killer Quake and Emergency Mine Rescue.”  Howard Swartz, NOVA Executive Producer, oversaw the project for WGBH/NOVA. The Commissioning Editor for Channel 4 was David Glover.


[1] National persons 2+ projection based on Nielsen NTI NOVA 9PM cumulative audience averages 9/19/10 to 2/23/11, 6 minute qualifier

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