Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey revives the groundbreaking television series that starred Carl Sagan. This new collection of shows will be hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson.
The new series premieres on Sunday, 9 March, on most Fox stations, beginning at 9 p.m. EST. This will be the first time the network has premiered a new series across almost all their networks at once.
Since 1980, when Cosmos first appeared on the airwaves, astronomers have learned much about the Universe. Bringing this new information to the public, in an accessible manner, is what drove both series. Druyan and deGrasse Tyson each hope to counter a distaste for science among many members of the public, brought about by fear of discoveries.
"Scientists have known sin. But it's that anti-scientific bias, and the kind of magical thinking, which is very much at the heart of our mythology. It's a kind of deadly embrace," Druyan told Wired.
In the first episode, Standing Up in the Milky Way, deGrasse Tyson talks about the intellectual development of Giordano Bruno, a 16th-century Italian philosopher. When philosophers were still arguing about whether the Sun orbited around the Earth or vice versa, the Dominican friar took his ideas a step further. He declared the Sun is a star, traveling through space. He also spoke of alien worlds, teeming with non-human life. Bruno was found guilty of heresy, and burned at the stake. The premiere episode of the series also introduces viewers to the concept of a cosmic calendar. This idea presents the history of the Universe in terms of a single year, with the Big Bang starting New Year's Day.
The popular astronomer worked with Ann Druyan, widow of Carl Sagan, in developing the updated show. Bill Pope is the director of photography for the new series. He is known for his work on Spider-Man and The Matrix trilogy.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is the director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. He is also a frequent host and guest on science documentaries.
Executive producers of the show include Druyan, as well as Seth MacFarlane, the creator of the animated series Family Guy. He met Druyan at a meeting of directors and scientists.
Episodes will repeat on the Nat Geo Channel one day after their premiere.
The original 13 episodes of Cosmos were watched by 500 million people in 60 countries around the world.
Neil deGrasse Tyson once considered a career as an exotic dancer. Fortunately, he chose to educate the masses instead.