Novick has been making acclaimed documentary films about American history for more than twenty years. Since the late 1990s, she has been directing/producing partner of filmmaker Ken Burns. Their most recent collaboration, PROHIBITION, is a three part, five and a half hour series airing on PBS in the fall of 2011. It tells the story of the rise, reign, and fall of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution and all of its consequences – intended and otherwise. The film raises vital questions that are as relevant today as they were 100 years ago – about means and ends, individual rights and responsibilities, the proper role of government, and finally, who is – and who is not – a real American.
In 2010, Novick was director/producer with Burns, and writer with Burns and David McMahon, of THE TENTH INNING, a four hour update of the 1994 series, BASEBALL which brought the tumultuous story of our national pastime up to the present day. In 2007 she was director/producer with Burns of THE WAR, an epic seven-part series that told the story of the Second World War through the personal accounts of nearly 40 men and women from four American towns. The series explored the most intimate human dimensions of the greatest cataclysm in history and demonstrated that in extraordinary times, there are no ordinary lives. THE WAR received 3 Emmy awards as well as the Television Critics' Association award for best news and information program of 2007.
In 1998, Novick was director/producer with Burns of the Peabody Award-winning two-part biographical documentary, FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT, which was shown at the Sundance, Telluride, Edinburgh and Seattle Film Festivals.
In 1994, she produced the most-watched series in the history of public television, Burns's nine-part, 18 hour series, BASEBALL, (1994) for which she received an Emmy Award. In 2001, Novick produced Burns's 10-part series, JAZZ, which explores in detail the culture, politics and dreams that gave birth to jazz music and follows this most American of art forms from its origins in blues and ragtime through swing, bebop and fusion. Jazz was nominated for five Emmy Awards.
She and Burns are currently directing/producing a 10 to 12 hour series for PBS on the history and meaning of the Vietnam War, slated for broadcast in 2016.
Novick came to Florentine Films in 1989 to work on Burns's landmark 1990 series, THE CIVIL WAR, as associate producer for post production. She previously served as researcher and associate producer for Bill Moyers on two PBS series: Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth and A World of Ideas with Bill Moyers. A graduate of Yale, she lives in New York City with her husband, Robert Smith, and their two children.