The popular PBS mini-series that wowed viewers in 1980 returns over 30 years later to National Geographic and Fox.
Cosmos: A Personal Voyage was PBS’s most successful program for ten straight years after its initial run in 1980. Presented by the late Carl Sagan, one of the scientific community’s most well-known and respected ambassadors, the Emmy & Peabody Award-winning series covered a range of topics exploring our history on Earth and the universe around it. The show was applauded for its state of the art visual effects and presentation which beautifully illustrated Sagan’s words, and years later it’s still regarded as one of the best examples of scientific programming on television.
In the years after Sagan’s death, his widow and Cosmos co-creator Ann Druyan pushed for a second run of the series and set out to create a new Cosmos that would appeal to science fans and the general TV-viewing public alike. Druyan found a seemingly unlikely partner in Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, a self-proclaimed fan of the original series, who will act as an executive producer on Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey and served an integral role in greenlighting the new program.
Cosmos once again finds a perfect host in astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, one of the scientific world’s most well-known faces. deGrasse Tyson has already appeared frequently on TV, on shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Real Time with Bill Maher, and has been placed alongside popular scientific educators like Bill Nye and Richard Dawkins.
deGrasse Tyson spoke about the new Cosmos show in an interview with Big Picture Science:
“The task for the next generation of Cosmos is a little bit different because I don’t need to teach you textbook science. There’s a lot of textbook science in the original Cosmos, but that’s not what you remember most. What most people who remember the original series remember most is the effort to present science in a way that has meaning to you that can influence your conduct as a citizen of the nation and of the world–especially of the world [...] We want to make a program that is not simply a sequel to the first, but issues forth from the times in which we are making it, so that it matters to those who is this emergent 21st century audience.”
Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey will be broken up into 13, hour-long episodes just like its predecessor, and will broadcast on Fox and The National Geographic channel starting March 9, 2014. Following February 5th’s Creationism debate which was live-streamed online to over 3 million viewers, and the current popularity of science and sci-fi in pop culture (Think Gravity, Star Trek, etc.) it looks like Cosmos is sure to inspire thousands more to look up at the stars.