Network: CBC Television Network
Broadcast Run: 1960
Broadcast Medium: Television
Debuted November 6th 1960.
When the CBC entered the world of Television, it used to have a department of Science and Technology. This department produced a mix of shows all dedicated to educating and entertaining viewers about the mysteries of modern science. The Nature of Things, which was first produced in 1960, was, as of 2006, the only remaining program from that era. Its mandate was simple: a program about the interaction of human beings and aspects of different fields of natural and physical science and the evolution of technology.
The early shows were much more demonstrative of new technologies; almost like a university science class. As television evolved, so did the show’s budget and knack for de-mystifying science and viewers’ relationship to it. In fact, the first two co-hosts, Donald Ivey and Patterson Hume, were professors from the University of Toronto. Later guest hosts include Lister Sinclair, Donald Crowdis and John Livingston.
But in 1980, the show hired Dr. David Suzuki as host and the program took on a new look and a new editorial perspective. [Suzuki had already been hosting Science Magazine for five years, and elements of that series were now included in The Nature of Things]. Basic science was explained, but with a new angle that included health issues, environmental stories and an international perspective on the natural world. Many of the most important programs about cancer, AIDS and environmental degradation were well received and internationally popular. The show won many awards over the years for the quality of its content and its production values.
On February 13th 2011, the CBC announced the renewal of The Nature Of Things for its fifty-first season to begin in the Fall of 2011. David Suzuki would continue as host. The perennial series was announced on June 8th 2011 as resuming on Thursdays at 8 pm, effective September 22nd.
On April 19th 2012 it was reported that The Nature of Things would be included in the Network’s 2012-13 schedule, and this was confirmed with the announcement of the CBC fall schedule on May 10th.
On April 3rd 2013, the CBC announced that The Nature of Things had been renewed for the 2013-14 season, on Thursdays at 8 pm.
Producers: Norman Caton, David Walker. Milo Chvostek, Roman Bittman, Vincent Tovell, Nancy Archibald, Heather Cook, Diederik D’Ailly, John Bassett, David Tucker, Italo Costa, Vishnu Mathur, and Richard Longley.
James Murray was the show’s executive producer from l969 to l972 and again, starting in l974 to 1997. Nancy Archibald worked in that capacity from l972 to l974. Michael Allder was appointed executive producer in 1997. In 2008, In 2008, Caroline Underwood and F.M. Morrison were appointed Senior Producers for The Nature of Things.
By 2014, the producer was Annette Bradford, with associate producers
Robert Ballantyne and Olena Sullivan. On April 4th 2014 it was announced that The Nature of Things would again be a part of the CBC schedule in the 2014-15 season, and the schedule announced on May 29th showed Nature of Things on Thursdays at 8:00 pm, marking its 54th season.
Five years later, The Nature of Things remained a staple in the CBC schedule, and on March 25th 2019, it was announced that a further 18 1-hour episodes would be produced for 2019-20.
The CBC announced on May 27th 2020 that The Nature of Things would reach an epic landmark with its 60th season starting in the fall. David Suzuki would continue as host
The 60th season began on November 6th 2020