Press Release: UCSD-TV’S “When Things Get Small” Sweeps at Emmy Awards (6/2006)

UCSD-TV’S “When Things Get Small” Sweeps at Emmy Awards

Also awarded top prize in international film and video festival

LA JOLLA, CA – It’s true that UCSD-TV’s “When Things Get Small,” a program that takes a comical look at nanoscience and features a world-renowned physicist playing a wacky version of himself on-screen, falls outside the expectations of mainstream science-for-television fare. Nevertheless, this unusual approach to explaining important science concepts to the public was recognized Saturday with a total of five Emmy Awards –- in every category it was nominated.

Recipients of this prestigious award from the Pacific Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences included UCSD physicist Ivan Schuller and UCSD-TV producer Rich Wargo in the Health/Science Program category, UCSD-La Jolla Playhouse MFA alumnus Adam Smith in the On-Camera Talent/Performer category, Matt Alioto in the Photography category, Michael Shea and David Bouzan in the Animation/Graphic Design category, and Peter Kreklow in the category of Lighting Direction. The award-winners were on-hand to accept their statuettes at the ceremony held Saturday, June 3 at the Omni Hotel in downtown San Diego.

UCSD-TV will re-broadcast “When Things Get Small” this Sunday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. and again on June 28 at 8:30 p.m. The program can also be viewed “on-demand,” as a video podcast, or on Google Video at, and is also available for sale.

“When Things Get Small” uses a variety of comic inventions and special effects to take viewers on a comically corny romp into the real-life quest to create the smallest magnet ever known. Host Adam Smith travels alongside physicist Ivan Schuller, visiting locations ranging from Petco Park to a steaming hot tub to make sense of several important “nano” concepts. UC president Robert Dynes and Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres owner John Moores also drop by for cameo appearances.

“When Things Get Small” was funded in part by the National Science Foundation, and produced by UCSD-TV in partnership with the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) and the UCSD Division of Physical Sciences.

“When Things Get Small” is the first in the ‘When Things Get…” series, produced by Not Too Serious Labs, the creative collaboration of UCSD-TV producer Rich Wargo and physicist Ivan Schuller. Not Too Serious Labs’ mission is to make science funny and entertaining so you end up learning while you’re laughing. The duo is planning its next production “When Things Get Big,” a comical exploration of the gigantic machines used to investigate matter.

The purpose of the Emmy Awards is to recognize outstanding achievements in television by conferring annual awards of merit in the Pacific Southwest region. The Pacific Southwest region includes San Diego County and the television markets of Bakersfield, Oxnard, Palm Springs, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Behind-The-Scenes Photos from the Emmy Awards

UCSD-TV's "When Things Get Small" Emmy winners display their statuettes (l to r) David Bouzan (Animation/Graphic Design), Matt Alioto (Photography), Adam Smith (On-Camera Talent/Performer), producers Ivan Schuller and Rich Wargo (Health/Science Program), and Peter Kreklow (Lighting Direction).
The creative team behind the award-winning "When Things Get Small" included producer Rich Wargo (l), host Adam Smith (center) and producer/star Ivan Schuller (r).
The big screen says it all during the Emmy Awards ceremony in
San Diego on June 3, 2006.

Subscribe to receive email notifications about featured videos.
(c)2020 Regents of the University of California. All right reserved. Terms and Conditions of Use.