PBS Digital Studios (PBSDS) is ramping up its content department with a new hire and web series. The YouTube-based network has brought on entertainment executive Brandon Arolfo as Senior Director of Content Development, and also released its new series Gross Science in association with NOVA.
Arolfo is charged with the creation of content and the overall growth of the PBSDS network. The new PBSDS hire previously worked as an executive producer on music videos for over 100 artists, including Taylor Swift and The Black Keys. Additionally, Arolfo developed digital content at MCN My Country Nation, as well as at AOL for its YouTube channel CafeMom Studios.
PBSDS also added some new original programming to its roster of content. Hosted by NOVA digital producer Anna Rothschild, Gross Science highlights the weird and disgusting aspects of medicine, history, and engineering. Topics will include how you smell when you have certain diseases or how the sea cucumber can force its internal organs out of its head or rear.
PBSDS and Nova came up with the idea for Gross Science after their “The Tongue-Eating Parasite” video, about a parasite which replaces a fish’s tongue and lives and breeds in its mouth, attracted over 350,000 views within a week on YouTube. The two companies will produce 40 episodes of Gross Science, the first of which debuted on its dedicated YouTube channel on April 8, 2015.
Vice President of PBS Digital Don Wilcox said in a release the network is “delighted” to be working on such a gross show, because it’s still a “highly watchable blend of the weird and wondrous.” Rothschild added her agreement.
“Paradoxically, I find the most beauty and wonder in science when I examine its slimy, smelly, creepy underbelly,” she explained. “[NOVA is] thrilled to partner with PBS Digital Studios to bring to life a new series that inspires curious people of all ages to enjoy science, to see it as a story, and to ask lots of questions about the world—especially if they’re about poop and parasites.”
You can watch future episodes of Gross Science on its YouTube channel. PBSDS currently boasts over 4 million subscribers and more than 350 million video views across all its partner channels.