Howard Swartz, Senior Vice President of Production and Development, Documentaries and Special at Discovery Channel
Howard Swartz is Senior Vice President of Production and Development, Documentaries and Specials for Discovery Channel. In his current role, Swartz is responsible for developing and executing production strategies for documentaries, specials and event programming.
During his current tenure at Discovery, Swartz has overseen 60 hours of the network’s most iconic yearly pop-culture event SHARK WEEK. He has managed the 33 -year-old franchise of science and shark conservation through a variety of entertaining programming endeavors including SHARK WEEK’S first ever scripted movie CAPSIZED: BLOOD IN THE WATER in 2019.
Swartz is also responsible for overseeing the network’s robust natural history slate, including the Emmy® nominated SERENGETI series from Simon Fuller and John Downer, which debuted to record-ratings as the highest rated nature documentary in six years. Other upcoming natural history projects include the five-part series A PERFECT PLANET, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, the six-part wildlife series THE BOND, executive produced by Team Downey and Glen Zipper and multiple upcoming landmark series and specials with BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit.
In addition, Swartz has overseen the development and production of several feature documentaries including the critically acclaimed APOCALYPSE ’45 from director Erik Nelson. Swartz is also shepherding the launch of UNDISCOVERED, a new strand of documentaries, which will explore some of our greatest mysteries, potentially rewriting the history books along the way. //Prior to his return to Discovery, Swartz was Arrow Media’s Executive Vice President of Development and Production, based out of their London office, where he helped to expand the company’s robust U.S. slate. His projects spanned several networks, including Science Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery Channel.
Swartz previously served as Vice President, Documentaries and Specials for Discovery Channel where he oversaw high-profile global specials, including Skywire Live With Nik Wallenda, which was the highest-rated live event in Discovery Channel history. He also was responsible for Discovery’s landmark Emmy® nominated science series Curiosity, which looked to answer one question in science, technology and society in each episode.
Before joining Discovery in 2011, Swartz was Executive Producer at PBS’ acclaimed science series NOVA where he received the prestigious Alfred I. DuPont Award as well as an AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award. Prior to NOVA, Swartz was with the National Geographic Channel, where he oversaw signature series Explorer and executive produced more than 100 programs, including Emmy®-winners Five Years on Mars Inside Living Body and Incredible Human Machine.