NOVA scienceNOW

Common Sense Media says

Science newsmagazine is educational, if a bit bland.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series exposes viewers to cutting-edge advances in science and technology, and the information is presented in a way that's easy for viewers to understand.


Some episodes cover potentially scary topics like hurricanes, global warming, epidemics, mass extinction, asteroids headed toward Earth, etc. But none of the topics are overdramatized or played up for effect.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that curious teens and adults will learn a lot from this newsmagazine series about cutting-edge science -- but tweens and younger kids may be bored by the show's technical content and relatively bland presentation. That said, there's no iffy content for any age, so if you and your kids share an interest in science, this is a great show to enjoy together.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

NOVA SCIENCENOW is an investigative science series that gives viewers a glimpse of technology's latest innovations and discoveries. Genial astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson goes behind the scenes at far-flung laboratories to report on advances like computer technology that's unlocking the secrets in ancient manuscripts, diamond \"farms\" that generate flawless stones, and robots that exhibit emotion. In addition to presenting the facts, Tyson and other experts postulate on what implications these advances could have for the future.

Is it any good?


There's an inherent fascination in watching science unfold before your eyes, and this intriguing series is sure to captivate curious viewers who have an interest in the subject. Engaging and accessible, Tyson does his job well, asking all the questions that viewers -- even those of us without a degree in advanced science -- would want answered.

But while the show celebrates technology, it actually regresses with respect to its own presentation style. Compared to other recent science/educational series that are bolstered by high-definition images and cutting-edge CGI, this stripped-down version feels pretty bland. It likely won't grab young kids' attention, but older tweens, teens, and adults with an interest in the sciences will be able to look past its stylistic shortcomings and enjoy the quality information it offers.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about technology's impact on society. How has science improved our lives? What inventions most impact your own lifestyle? How has our society's safety, efficiency, and health been affected by science? What improvements do you expect in the next decade? If you could invent something, what would it be? How would it make life better?

TV details

Cast:Neil deGrasse Tyson
Topics:Science and nature
TV rating:TV-G

This review of NOVA scienceNOW was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byBrynsusan April 5, 2009

Great Family Program

Our family watches only PBS, so our child doesn't have context from network TV to think PBS is boring or slow-paced. Our six-year-old girl loves this program as well as NOVA (if we think the content isn't age appropriate we turn the TV off). NOVA feeds into kids natural curiosity about the world. During and after a program our child asks all kinds of thoughtful questions which allow us to spend time discussing, looking up data in our books and encyclopedias or on PBS's website. PBS offers wonderful, varied, educational programming.
Kid, 11 years old November 30, 2012

Very educational!!!

Just like NOVA, this is really good!!! They make learning fun for Kids and Adults!!! I would seriously recommend it if you hate Science because it will make it fun!!!(=
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?


What are the different ways that you access Common Sense Media ratings and information? (Check all that apply)

Essential Apps Guide