Arrow Media explores Neanderthals for ‘Nova’

The special, Decoding Neanderthals, will investigate the reasons behind the disappearance of our "closest genetic cousin."
January 8, 2013

Arrow Media and PBS science strand ‘Nova’ have collaborated to unearth the mystery behind the disappearance of the Neanderthals some 30,000 years ago.

Decoding Neanderthals, airing on PBS on January 9 at 9 p.m. EST, will illustrate how an international team, led by DNA expert Dr. Svante Paabo, extracted genetic material from the remains of a Neanderthal bone to decode the Neanderthal genome for the first time. The results of that work point toward the existence of “our closest genetic cousin” within our own DNA.

The special uses CGI, reconstruction, expert interviews and experiments to provide a clearer picture of the Neanderthals, and the world in which they lived.

“Nova’s Decoding Neanderthals gives an astonishing insight into the evolution of human civilization, and it is great to have Dr Svante Paabo and other well respected academics on board as renowned experts in the field,” said Tom Brisley, creative director of Arrow Media. “This is exactly the kind of ground-breaking factual content that we are dedicated to producing.”

The special is produced and edit directed by Johanna Woolford Gibbon. Tom Brisley and Ali Turner exec produced the special for Arrow Media, while for ‘Nova,’ Paula Apsell, senior executive producer of NOVA and director of the WGBH Science Unit, exec produced.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.