Nova

1974, TV Show

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Wednesday TV: Don Rickles Tribute, NBC's Snowden Scoop

Insults never sounded sweeter than when Don Rickles was hurling hilarious barbs at his targets, whether innocent ringside onlookers or the rich and famous on a celebrity roast dais. At 88, though stooped and using a cane, he still gives as good as he gets, a fact brought home with delightful wit and genuine lump-in-the-throat sentiment in Spike TV's One Night Only: An All-Star Tribute to Don Rickles (Wednesday, 9/8c).

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Paid | iTunes Aired: 11/29/2014

Season 42, Episode 10
Everyone knows Neil Armstrong was the first to set foot on the moon. But this modest and unassuming man was determined to stay out of the spotlight, so the rare combination of talent, luck, and experience that led to his successful command of Apollo 11 is not widely known. Now, for the first time, NOVA presents an intimate portrait through interviews with Armstrong's family and friends, many of whom have never spoken publicly before. Seen through the eyes of those who were close to him, the film explores the man behind the myth, and also reveals his unsung achievements as a Navy combat veteran and pioneer of high speed flight. In its groundbreaking exploration of this quietly effective man, NOVA explores his achievements following Apollo, which included his leading role in the inquiry into the Challenger disaster and efforts to encourage young people to share his lifelong passion for flight. First Man on the Moon is an inspiring story of heroic risk-taking and humble dedication to advancing humanity's adventure in space.

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Paid | iTunes Aired: 11/19/2014

Season 42, Episode 9
Just before 11 a.m. on March 22, 2014, an ominous rumble startled the residents of the community of Oso, Washington. It was the terrifying sound of what would become the United States' deadliest landslide in decades. The equivalent of one million dump truck loads of earth came plummeting down the valley. In a little over two minutes, a pile of debris up to 75 feet deep slammed into the neighborhood of close to 50 homes. While a massive search and rescue effort continues at the site, geologists are tracing the geological history of Oso to explain why the site was so unstable. But all around the world, scientists have reason to fear that the worst is yet to come. Globally, landslides and other ground failures take a tremendous human and economic toll, and with climate change bringing a sharp rise in precipitation, the threat of bigger, more frequent landslides is growing. As NOVA surveys landslide danger zones, discover how and why landslides happen, and how radar monitoring technologies could help issue life-saving warnings.

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Paid | iTunes Aired: 11/12/2014

Season 42, Episode 8
From PBS and NOVA-In central China, a vast underground mausoleum conceals a life-size terracotta army of cavalry, infantry, horses, chariots, weapons, administrators, acrobats, and musicians, all built to serve China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang Di, in the afterlife. Lost and forgotten for over 2,200 years, this clay army, 8,000-strong, stands poised to help the First Emperor rule again beyond the grave. Now, a new archaeological campaign is probing the thousands of figures entombed in the mausoleum. With exclusive access to pioneering research, Emperor's Ghost Army reveals how the Emperor directed the manufacture of the tens of thousands of bronze weapons carried by the clay soldiers including lethal crossbows engineered with astonishing precision. NOVA tests the power of these weapons with high-action experiments and reports on revolutionary 3D computer modeling techniques that are revealing new insights into how the clay figures were made. The program reveals the secrets of one of archaeology's greatest discoveries and brings to life the startlingly sophisticated world of Qin's legendary empire.

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Paid | iTunes Aired: 11/5/2014

Season 42, Episode 7
From PBS and NOVA - Almost a century ago, paleontologists found the first tantalizing hints of a monster even bigger than Tyrannosaurus Rex, perhaps the largest predator ever to walk the Earth: spectacular fossil bones from a dinosaur dubbed Spinosaurus. But the fossils were completely destroyed during a World War II Allied bombing raid, leaving only drawings, lots of questions, and a mystery: What was Spinosaurus? Now, the discovery of new bones in a Moroccan cliff face is reopening the investigation into this epic beast. What did it feed on and how? Why did it grow so big? NOVA follows the paleontologists who are reconstructing this terrifying carnivore piece by piece, revealing a 53-foot-long behemoth with a huge dorsal sail, enormous, scimitar-like claws, and massive superjaws hosting an army of teeth. It is a painstaking puzzle, and it is missing many of its pieces. Bringing together experts in paleontology, geology, climatology, and paleobotany, this NOVA/National Geographic special brings to life the lost world over which Spinosaurus reigned more than 65 million years ago.

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News

Wednesday TV: Don Rickles Tribute, NBC's Snowden Scoop

Insults never sounded sweeter than when Don Rickles was hurling hilarious barbs at his targets, whether innocent ringside onlookers or the rich and famous on a celebrity roast dais. At 88, though stooped and using a cane, he still gives as good as he gets, a fact brought home with delightful wit and genuine lump-in-the-throat sentiment in Spike TV's One Night Only: An All-Star Tribute to Don Rickles (Wednesday, 9/8c).

read more

The Wednesday Playlist: A Pivotal Idol, Great Guests on ABC Comedies

Here's a fearless (and rather obvious) prediction for what could be a pivotal week on Fox's American Idol. Regardless of what happens on the next performance show (Wednesday, 8/7c), if America's vote endangers any of the girls — none of whom have been sent home yet (sorry, guys, especially Burnell) — the judges will almost certainly use their season's one "save." read more

Ask Matt: How Scandal-ous, Smash's Crash, PBS Is Hot, Middle Graduation, More

Send questions and comments to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: [SPOILER ALERT for anyone who's fallen behind on Scandal] I'm a loyal reader of your column, and always enjoy hearing your well-thought-out and articulate opinions on TV's hottest topics. I'm writing to you for the first time now because I wanted to know your take on the latest installments of Scandal. I saw in your last column the tag line "Scandal is the new Revenge," and I agree Scandal has been far more gripping lately than Revenge. read more

The Wednesday Playlist: Attenborough's Natural Life History, Horror Finale

The world is Sir David Attenborough's playground, which he has revealed on camera in all of its natural wonder with irrepressible enthusiasm for the last 60 years, forging a career that encompasses what he calls "the golden age of natural history filmmaking." His breakthrough TV programs include 1979's epic Life on Earth, which launched a series of "Life" specials, and such recent phenoms as Planet Earth and Frozen Planet (although Discovery Channel replaced his narration with American actors for U.S. broadcast).

PBS' Nature celebrates his astonishing milestones over the next three Wednesdays with a miniseries, Attenborough's Life Stories (check tvguide.com listings), which functions as a visual history of how this sort of nature programming has evolved with the help of technological breakthroughs. read more

Wednesday Playlist: Hour Finale, Nashville Recap and More

Happy New TV Year! With the brief holiday programming pause about to be over, it's already time to say goodbye to one of last year's better series: the evocative second season of BBC America's Golden Globe-nominated The Hour. A ticking-clock deadline fuels the suspense in Wednesday's gripping finale (9/8c). With showtime fast approaching for a new edition of the fictional '50s TV newsmagazine, The Hour's co-anchors find themselves embroiled in controversy and peril. read more

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Premiered: March 03, 1974, on PBS
Rating: None
User Rating: (139 ratings)
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Premise: PBS's premier science-documentary series, which has won six Peabody Awards and more than 20 Emmys (four in 2002 alone) since its 1974 debut. `Nova' clearly, and often engagingly, `demystifies' a vast range of science, technology and history topics---past and present---and doesn't neglect the human aspect of the story. Its many memorable shows include 1983's `The Miracle of Life,' about the conception and development of a fetus (which was remade in 2001); and 2002's `Why the Towers Fell.'

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