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Digital-First Series Hosted by Award-Winner Joe Hanson, Features North Carolina Landmarks

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, 9/25/2020 — UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina and PBS Digital Studios collaborate to create Overview, a new, digital-first series that chases answers to scientific questions from a drone’s-eye view. Hosted by writer and biologist Joe Hanson, Ph.D., of It’s Okay to Be Smart, another PBS Digital Studios venture, Overview uses spectacular 4K drone cinematography to reveal both the natural phenomena and human forces that shape our planet—from a 10,000-foot view.

The series shines a spotlight on our home state in the first episodes. Overview debuted on September 24 in Western North Carolina with How the Blue Ridge Mountains (Almost) Lost Their Blue, a scientific look at the natural phenomenon behind what native Cherokee tribes dubbed “Shaconoage"—the “place of blue smoke”.

The third episode of the series, premiering Thursday, October 22, will bring viewers back to North Carolina—this time, to the opposite end of the state, for a coastal visit with the wild horses of Corolla. Other episodes this fall include aerial journeys through Big Sky Country in Montana, the changing fall foliage of New England and the Red River Gorge in Eastern Kentucky.

The series premiered this past Thursday, September 24, and can be streamed via or PBS Digital Studios’ new science and nature YouTube channel, PBS Terra. Viewers can also watch episodes on demand at More new episodes continue every three weeks, on Thursdays, throughout this fall and winter.

For more information about Overview, including individual episodes, clips and special digital extras to complement the series, visit PBS Digital Studios online.

About the Host

Joe Hanson, Ph.D., is a science writer, biologist, and YouTube educator. He is the creator and host of It’s Okay To Be Smart, an award-winning science education show from PBS Digital Studios that celebrates curiosity and the pleasure of finding things out. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, and his science writing has been published by WIRED, Nautilus, Scientific American and Texas Monthly.

About PBS Digital Studios

PBS Digital Studios is a network that connects, inspires, and cultivates the next generation of public media enthusiasts. We create bold, thought-provoking programs that illuminate the world around us. We bridge the gap between new and existing audiences at PBS by meeting people where they are—online and across different streaming platforms. More information can be found at

About UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina

As North Carolina’s statewide PBS network serving the country’s third-largest public media market, UNC-TV educates, informs, entertains and inspires its statewide audience on-air, online and in-person. Through its unique partnership of public investment and private support, the statewide network includes in-person engagement, digital-first social and online content delivery, and four over-the-air channels—UNC-TV PBS & More, the North Carolina Channel, Rootle 24/7 PBS KIDS and the Explorer Channel. Its transformational events and content spark curiosity and wonder for all North Carolinians. Additionally, UNC-TV serves as the backbone for North Carolina’s state’s emergency services. Visit and join the conversation at, and @publicmediaNC on Twitter.


CONTACT Rebekah Radisch, UNC-TV: 919-549-7177