PBS ‘Nova’ to Cover First Total Solar Eclipse Since 1979

TCA 2017: Set your alarms for 10:15 a.m. PT on Aug. 21, sky gazers

You’re gonna want to be outside for this. But in the event our readers find themselves indoors, PBS has got you covered.

The broadcast channel’s “Nova” will cover mainland United States’ first total solar eclipse since 1979, presenting it for television a few hours later. The “cosmic spectacle” — as PBS calls it — will pass through 13 states, though everyone in the continental U.S. will be able to see at least a partial eclipse. That makes it the most widely viewable eclipse of all time.

Starting at 10:15 a.m. PDT (1:15 p.m. EDT) on Monday, Aug. 21, a lunar shadow 73 miles wide will take one hour and 33 minutes to travel from Oregon to South Carolina, allowing for an hour-and-a-half of continuous observation. So, soak up the sun — or lack thereof.

“Solar Eclipse” (working title), Nova’s fastest turnaround film to date, will use immersive CGI animation to reveal the sun’s mechanisms. It will also integrate sequences of the eclipse itself — including scenes filmed at iconic locations along the path of the eclipse — user-generated content, NASA footage and more.

“PBS is the destination for fascinating and comprehensive science programming year-round on Nova and on other PBS science specials,” said Beth Hoppe, chief programming executive and general manager, General Audience Programming, PBS. “Nova has broken new ground on fast-turnaround documentaries on important, timely topics. With a strong multi-platform presence on PBS and Nova’s social and digital channels, ‘Solar Eclipse’ will be must-see viewing for our audiences to fully experience this decades-in-the waiting phenomenon.”

Senior executive producer for Nova is Paula S. Apsell.